Up-to-date treatment of head and neck cancers

Paczona Róbert (1), Csenki Melinda (2), Hideghéty Katalin (2)
– (1) Szegedi Tudományegyetem, Általános Orvosi Kar, Szent-Györgyi Albert Klinikai Központ, Arc-, Állcsont-, és Szájsebészeti Klinika, Szeged
– (2) Onkoterápiás Klinika, Szeged

The head and neck squamous cell cancer is often detected at an advanced stage, resulting in dismal prognosis despite the relevant developments of the oncotherapy in the last decades. The introduction of new techniques, new drugs and combinations though improves the survival for certain subgroups of patients, meanwhile the organ-function preservation and side effects reduction approaches lead to improved quality of life. The preventive-supportive care prior and during the therapy (dental care, nutrition, toxicity management) and the complex rehabilitation has paramount importance. MRI and 18FDG PET-CT and the advanced methods of molecular pathology became part of the diagnostic work up. The selection of the therapy based on the tumor characteristics, HPV detection, on the patient’s condition and wishes, as well as on multi-disciplinary team decision based on the available technical options. Early stage tumors can be successfully treated either by surgery alone or by radiation therapy. For locally advanced cases concomittant chemo-radiotherapy stays in the axis of the complex management using advanced radiation technique (IGRT-adaptive- IMRT) with cisplatin (or if contraindicated with cetuximab), which could be complemented by induction chemotherapy and/or surgery. Several new approaches are currently being tested in clinical studies after establishment of cisplatine-cetuximab treatment for recurrent/metastatic tumors. In the future, detection of molecular processes and driver mutations could result in development of more effective targeted anti-tumor agents, and individual molecular tumor profi le guided therapy, including the various forms and combinations with emerging immunotherapy.


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