HNC News 24 July 2018

Three Articles from the Head and Neck Cancer News

The Caregivers' Cancer Journey


As patients with cancer complete their active treatment phase, many are faced with new and often unanticipated challenges as they transition into survivorship. Many are managing ongoing or long-term physical side effects of treatment, experiencing anxiety about disease recurrence, navigating sometimes bumpy returns to work or school, and digesting the reality of the cancer diagnosis itself — the full scope of which can have emotional reverberations impacting life goals and sense of purpose. It is typically a period of great change for the cancer survivor.1 But what about that person's loved ones? How do caregivers experience survivorship with its many challenges and unknowns? Read more...



The genes that may predict cancer survival

In the eighth of a series of interviews with young and mid-career researchers, Eloise Gibson talks to Francis Hunter about the search for new cancer drugs, and genes that may determine whether someone survives cancer if they get it.

Scientists have a list of genes they know can be involved in determining whether a person gets cancer. But what may surprise people is that there are other genes that researchers believe may help determine whether someone with cancer survives the disease.

These genes – and how they function - may help determine whether someone’s cancer is susceptible to traditional treatments such as radiotherapy or chemotherapy, which in turn may help explain the huge disparity in outcomes for people with the same disease.  Read more...


Nivolumab shows antitumor activity in nasopharyngeal carcinoma

Nivolumab showed promising clinical activity among patients with pretreated recurrent or metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma, according to data published in Journal of Clinical Oncology.

“Nasopharyngeal carcinoma is endemic to parts of Asia and North Africa and is etiologically associated with the Epstein-Barr virus,” Brigette B.Y. Ma, MD, professor in the department of clinical oncology at Chinese University of Hong Kong, and colleagues wrote. “This virus-associated cancer represents the archetypal ‘inflamed tumor,’ which often exhibits a dense lymphocytic infiltrate and increased programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression.”

In this phase 2, single-arm study, researchers assessed nivolumab (Opdivo, Bristol-Myers Squibb) monotherapy in 45 patients (median age, 57 years; 77.8% men) with recurrent or metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma. All patients had received at least one prior line of platinum-based chemotherapy. Read more...

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