Cherie-Ann O. Nathan, MD of LSU Health Shreveport @LSUHS @LSUHealthNO answers questions on immunotherapy for a drug used for breast and kidney cancer may extend survival for head and neck cancer patients.
A targeted therapy medication used for breast and kidney cancers can also improve progression-free survival after routine care for patients with advanced head and neck cancer who are at high risk of recurrence. Patients involved in this phase II randomized study who received the everolimus mTOR inhibitor were more likely to be cancer-free one year after treatment than those receiving a placebo drug, and the advantage continued for those with mutations in their TP53 gene. The findings that offer a new treatment choice for a group of patients who have not improved their survival rates in more than 30 years.
"While cure rates tend to be upwards of 85% for patients with head and neck cancers associated with HPV, they tend to be less than 40% for patients with disease related to smoking. These patients are recurring most often, and their survival rates have not changed in decades, despite advances in surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy," said lead author Cherie-Ann O. Nathan, MD, professor and chair of otolaryngology/head and neck surgery at Louisiana State University (LSU) Health Shreveport and director of head and neck surgery at Feist-Weiller Cancer Center.