New developments in the treating of head and neck cancer, and diagnosing thyroid cancer.
Emerging thyroid cancer test may prevent unnecessary surgeries
Thyroid cancer is among the most curable types of cancer, with relative survival rates close to 100% for localized and regional tumors. Incidence of the malignancy has increased rapidly, with about 52,000 new cases diagnosed each year in the United States, according to American Cancer Society data.
Fine-needle aspiration, which is the current standard in thyroid cancer diagnostics, yields inconclusive results in about one of every five cases. In these cases, patients often undergo a follow-up genetic test, which is prone to false-positive results. This may prompt surgical intervention, which can lead to lifetime hormone replacement therapy and other repercussions and ultimately may prove unnecessary.
Zhang, graduate student Rachel DeHoog and colleagues at The University of Texas at Austin and Baylor College of Medicine, have developed a preoperative thyroid cancer test that is not only faster, but approximately two-thirds more accurate than the current diagnostic tests. Zhang and DeHoog spoke with HemOnc Today about the potential for their test to prevent excessive false-positive results and surgeries. Read more....
Study: Checkpoint inhibitor prolongs survival in patients with head and neck cancers
The checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab (Keytruda) offers patients with advanced head and neck cancers longer survival time, according to a new global study led by Yale Cancer Center (YCC). The data was published today in the journal The Lancet.
The findings show overall survival was significantly improved through a phase 3 study for participants with previously untreated recurrent or metastatic head and neck cancers, compared to the standard therapy.
This research demonstrates that use of this checkpoint inhibitor, with or without chemotherapy, should be the first drug used for these types of cancers. This is a very positive advance in treatment for our patients."
Barbara Burtness, M.D.