By Kalwinder Kaur
Eighth International Conference on Head and Neck Cancer was recently held at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine from July 21 to 25, 2012 in Toronto.
Presentations were delivered during the conference on tobacco use, predictors of severity of disease in head and neck cancer derived from human papillomavirus, and the reliability of robotic surgery in treating head and neck cancer.
Major presentation features at the American Head and Neck Society conference include:
- Robotic Surgery and its Potential to Increase Overall Survival of Head and Neck Cancer Patients.
John R. de Almeida, MD stated that TORS (Transoral robotic surgery) represents positive survival outcomes in treating head and neck cancer. Along with this team, he conducted a retrospective analysis involving 237 patients treated with TORS. Adjunctive radiotherapy was experienced by 26%, whereas 32% received adjunctive chemotherapy. Two-year disease-specific survival was 94 %, while overall survival was 98 %. Around 21 patients had recurrence.
- Transoral Robotic Surgery - Effective in Treating Intense Smokers with Head and Neck Cancer.
Transoral robotic surgery was conducted for 35 smokers and 22 nonsmokers, where the retrospective study after 19.9 months represents progression-free survival to be 91% and 96 % for smokers and overall survival to be 97% and 100% for nonsmokers. Removal of 94% and 96 % of tumors with robotic surgery in smoking nonsmoking groups had no recurrence. Metastasis was reduced by 97% and 100 % in smokers and non-smokers, respectively.
- Established Prognostic Factors May Not Pertain to HPV-positive Tonsil Cancer.
Considering HPV-associated head and neck cancer, Mount Sinai researchers performed analysis whether the metastatic lymph nodes of smoking and/or drinking patients were applicable to HPV-positive tonsil cancer. Based on surveillance, epidemiology, and end results database, around 1,515 patients were evaluated from the pre-HPV era from 1988 to 1997 and 5,139 patients were assessed from the HPV-predominant era from 1998 to 2007. Metastatic lymph nodes are essential in informing prognosis but owing to HPV’s vital role in causing cancer, their importance has decreased.