For palliation of patients with recurrent and/or metastatic head and neck squamous cell cancer (R/M HNSCC), the major classes of commonly used cytotoxic chemotherapeutic agents are platinum agents (cisplatin, carboplatin), taxanes (paclitaxel, docetaxel), and antimetabolic agents (methotrexate, 5-fluorouracil). Cetuximab, a monoclonal antibody directed against the extracellular domain of the epidermal growth factor receptor, also shows modest activity against R/M HNSCC. Because the overall management of patients with R/M HNSCC often involves multidisciplinary input, this review focuses on data that help guide decision-making in scenarios in which palliative chemotherapy is planned. Avenues for ongoing research are also presented.
Matthew G. Fury and David G. Pfister
Christina S. Chu and David G. Pfister
Mucosal exposure to human papillomavirus (HPV) can lead to anogenital and head and neck (H&N) cancer. Vaccination at a young age can be almost 100% effective in preventing HPV infection with the viral subtypes in both men and women, at least for disease in the anogenital tract. Therapeutic strategies targeting HPV in cervical dysplasia and cancer are showing promise as well in regressing dysplasia and controlling disease. That HPV-positive H&N cancer is a different disease from HPV-negative disease, with different molecular and clinical features and prognosis, is becoming better appreciated. At this time, however, the NCCN Guidelines for H&N Cancers do not distinguish between the types. This is expected to change.
Shrujal S. Baxi, Lara Dunn, and David G. Pfister
Presenters: Jimmy J. Caudell, David G. Pfister, and Randal S. Weber
Patients with head and neck cancer experience a broad array of negative quality-of-life issues, but particularly common are dental complications following radiation therapy, and compromised nutrition with significant weight loss. At the NCCN 2021 Virtual Annual Conference, a panel of experts used a case-based approach to discuss some of these common adverse effects of head and neck cancer and its treatment, as well as optimal supportive care strategies to manage them.
Shrujal Baxi, Matthew Fury, Ian Ganly, Shyam Rao, and David G. Pfister
Matthew G. Fury, Eric Sherman, Donna Lisa, Neeraj Agarwal, Kenneth Algazy, Bruce Brockstein, Corey Langer, Dean Lim, Ranee Mehra, Sandeep K. Rajan, Susan Korte, Brynna Lipson, Furhan Yunus, Tawee Tanvetyanon, Stephanie Smith-Marrone, Kenneth Ng, Han Xiao, Sofia Haque, and David G. Pfister
Cetuximab is typically administered on a weekly schedule for patients with recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell cancer (HNSCC). This study explores cetuximab administered every 2 weeks (q2w). In this multicenter randomized prospective phase II study, eligible patients (≤2 prior cytotoxic chemotherapy regimens for recurrent or metastatic disease; ECOG performance status ≤2) were randomized to receive cetuximab q2w at 500 mg/m2 (Group A) or 750 mg/m2 (Group B). The primary end point was response rate (RECIST 1.0). Sixty-one patients were enrolled: 35 in Group A and 26 in Group B, which was closed early for lack of efficacy. Confirmed partial response rates were 11% for Group A (4/35) and 8% for Group B (2/26) according to intention to treat analysis. Partial responses occurred only among patients whose primary tumors were in the oral cavity or larynx. Median progression-free survival (PFS) and median overall survival (OS) were similar for both groups (PFS, 2.2 and 2.0 months; OS, 7.0 and 9.4 months; Groups A and B, respectively). The most common cetuximab-related adverse events (all grades) among treated subjects included rash, fatigue, and hypomagnesemia. Cetuximab, 500 mg/m2, q2w achieves similar efficacy as conventional dosing for patients with recurrent or metastatic HNSCC. Escalating the dose to 750 mg/m2 q2w offers no obvious therapeutic advantage.
Thomas A. D’Amico, Lindsey A.M. Bandini, Alan Balch, Al B. Benson III, Stephen B. Edge, C. Lyn Fitzgerald, Robert J. Green, Wui-Jin Koh, Michael Kolodziej, Shaji Kumar, Neal J. Meropol, James L. Mohler, David Pfister, Ronald S. Walters, and Robert W. Carlson
Although oncology care has evolved, outcome assessment remains a key challenge. Outcome measurement requires identification and adoption of a succinct list of metrics indicative of high-quality cancer care for use within and across healthcare systems. NCCN established an advisory committee, the NCCN Quality and Outcomes Committee, consisting of provider experts from NCCN Member Institutions and other stakeholders, including payers and patient advocacy, community oncology, and health information technology representatives, to review the existing quality landscape and identify contemporary, relevant cancer quality and outcomes measures by reevaluating validated measures for endorsement and proposing new measure concepts to fill crucial gaps. This manuscript reports on 22 measures and concepts; 15 that align with existing measures and 7 that are new.
David G. Pfister, Kie-Kian Ang, David M. Brizel, Barbara Burtness, Anthony J. Cmelak, A. Dimitrios Colevas, Frank Dunphy, David W. Eisele, Jill Gilbert, Maura L. Gillison, Robert I. Haddad, Bruce H. Haughey, Wesley L. Hicks Jr., Ying J. Hitchcock, Merrill S. Kies, William M. Lydiatt, Ellie Maghami, Renato Martins, Thomas McCaffrey, Bharat B. Mittal, Harlan A. Pinto, John A. Ridge, Sandeep Samant, Giuseppe Sanguineti, David E. Schuller, Jatin P. Shah, Sharon Spencer, Andrea Trotti III, Randal S. Weber, Gregory Wolf, and Frank Worden
David G. Pfister, Sharon Spencer, David M. Brizel, Barbara Burtness, Paul M. Busse, Jimmy J. Caudell, Anthony J. Cmelak, A. Dimitrios Colevas, Frank Dunphy, David W. Eisele, Jill Gilbert, Maura L. Gillison, Robert I. Haddad, Bruce H. Haughey, Wesley L. Hicks Jr, Ying J. Hitchcock, Antonio Jimeno, Merrill S. Kies, William M. Lydiatt, Ellie Maghami, Renato Martins, Thomas McCaffrey, Loren K. Mell, Bharat B. Mittal, Harlan A. Pinto, John A. Ridge, Cristina P. Rodriguez, Sandeep Samant, David E. Schuller, Jatin P. Shah, Randal S. Weber, Gregory T. Wolf, Frank Worden, Sue S. Yom, Nicole R. McMillian, and Miranda Hughes
This selection from the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for Head and Neck Cancers focuses on glottic laryngeal cancer, which is the most common type of laryngeal cancer and has an excellent cure rate. The lymphatic drainage of the glottis is sparse, and early stage primaries rarely spread to regional nodes. Because hoarseness is an early symptom, most glottic laryngeal cancer is early stage at diagnosis. Updates to these guidelines for 2014 include revisions to “Principles of Radiation Therapy” for each site and “Principles of Surgery,” and the addition of a new section on “Principles of Dental Evaluation and Management.”