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Controversies in the Locoregional Management of Head and Neck Cancer

David M. Brizel, William Lydiatt, and A. Dimitrios Colevas

Head and neck cancer (HNC) is a heterogeneous combination of various sites and types of disease. This manuscript elaborates on 3 important and current issues: the emerging role of human papilloma virus (HPV) in oropharyngeal cancer (OPC), current considerations in systemic therapy for advanced disease, and evolving treatment of the neck. Exogenous carcinogens, most notably tobacco, have classically been implicated in the development of HNC. A large increase in the incidence of OPC has occurred in the past few decades, predominantly in nontobacco users, and is caused by HPV. This disease is unique in many respects and presents an opportunity for novel therapeutic approaches. Because the prognosis for HPV-related HNC is better, regardless of whether surgery or radiation is used as the primary therapy, the reduction of treatment-related morbidity has assumed increasing importance and provides unique opportunities and challenges for de-escalation of therapies. Radiotherapy (RT) and concurrent cisplatin is the most commonly used nonsurgical platform for locally advanced disease. New data suggest that viable alternatives exist to the typical 3 cycles of bolus high-dose cisplatin. The role of RT and concurrent taxanes remains less understood. Similarly, the value of integrating epidermal growth factor inhibition and concurrent chemoradiation is under continuing investigation. The use of PET scanning is changing the traditional use of adjuvant neck dissection after RT or chemoradiation. Recent data support the use of surgery in the presence of a positive posttreatment PET, and observation in the setting of a negative posttreatment scan.

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NCCN Task Force Report: Prevention and Management of Mucositis in Cancer Care

William Bensinger, Mark Schubert, Kie-Kian Ang, David Brizel, Elizabeth Brown, June G. Eilers, Linda Elting, Bharat B. Mittal, Mark A. Schattner, Ricardo Spielberger, Nathaniel S. Treister, and Andy M. Trotti III

Oral mucositis (OM) has emerged as a common cause of dose delays and interruptions of cancer therapies such as multicycle chemotherapy, myeloablative chemotherapy, and radiotherapy with or without concurrent chemotherapy of head and neck cancer. Research into both preventive and management strategies has lagged behind research into the common cancer treatment–related morbidities of nausea, vomiting, and cytopenias. This disparity is related to the complex risk assessment of multifactorial patient and treatment factors and different techniques of rating mucositis. In addition, relatively few clinical trials have focused on mucositis as a specific outcome. Currently, the only effective preventive strategies include the use of palifermin to prevent OM in the setting of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and oral cryotherapy used in conjunction with bolus 5-FU, melphalan, or edatrexate. For the most part, managing OM relies on supportive care and symptom palliation. However, OM is a common problem associated with significant patient morbidity and increased resource use. The magnitude of the problem demands innovative approaches based on expert judgment as evidence accumulates to support specific recommendations. To improve this situation, the NCCN convened a multidisciplinary task force to address key issues. This report integrates expert judgment with a review of key literature on risk assessment, prevention, and treatment strategies, and provides recommendations for the overall management of OM. (JNCCN 2008;6[Suppl 1]:S1–S21)

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Mucosal Melanoma of the Head and Neck

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

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Head and Neck Cancers, Version 2.2013

David G. Pfister, Kie-Kian Ang, David M. Brizel, Barbara A. 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, Merrill S. Kies, William M. Lydiatt, Ellie Maghami, Renato Martins, Thomas McCaffrey, Bharat B. Mittal, Harlan A. Pinto, John A. Ridge, Sandeep Samant, David E. Schuller, Jatin P. Shah, Sharon Spencer, Randal S. Weber, Gregory T. Wolf, Frank Worden, Sue S. Yom, Nicole R. McMillian, and Miranda Hughes

These NCCN Guidelines Insights focus on nutrition and supportive care for patients with head and neck cancers. This topic was a recent addition to the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for Head and Neck Cancers. The NCCN Guidelines Insights focus on major updates to the NCCN Guidelines and discuss the new updates in greater detail. The complete version of the NCCN Guidelines for Head and Neck Cancers is available on the NCCN Web site (NCCN.org).

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Head and Neck Cancers, Version 2.2014

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.”

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NCCN Guidelines Insights: Head and Neck Cancers, Version 2.2017

David Adelstein, Maura L. Gillison, David G. Pfister, Sharon Spencer, Douglas Adkins, David M. Brizel, Barbara Burtness, Paul M. Busse, Jimmy J. Caudell, Anthony J. Cmelak, A. Dimitrios Colevas, David W. Eisele, Moon Fenton, Robert L. Foote, Jill Gilbert, Robert I. Haddad, Wesley L. Hicks Jr, Ying J. Hitchcock, Antonio Jimeno, Debra Leizman, William M. Lydiatt, Ellie Maghami, Loren K. Mell, Bharat B. Mittal, Harlan A. Pinto, John A. Ridge, James Rocco, Cristina P. Rodriguez, Jatin P. Shah, Randal S. Weber, Matthew Witek, Frank Worden, Sue S. Yom, Weining Zhen, Jennifer L. Burns, and Susan D. Darlow

The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for Head and Neck Cancers provide treatment recommendations for cancers of the lip, oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, ethmoid and maxillary sinuses, and salivary glands. Recommendations are also provided for occult primary of the head and neck (H&N), and separate algorithms have been developed by the panel for very advanced H&N cancers. These NCCN Guidelines Insights summarize the panel's discussion and most recent recommendations regarding the increase in human papillomavirus–associated oropharyngeal cancer and the availability of immunotherapy agents for treatment of patients with recurrent or metastatic H&N cancer.

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Head and Neck Cancers

David G. Pfister, Kie-Kian Ang, David M. Brizel, Barbara A. 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, Andy Trotti III, Randal S. Weber, Gregory T. Wolf, and Frank Worden

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NCCN Guidelines Insights: Head and Neck Cancers, Version 1.2018

A. Dimitrios Colevas, Sue S. Yom, David G. Pfister, Sharon Spencer, David Adelstein, Douglas Adkins, David M. Brizel, Barbara Burtness, Paul M. Busse, Jimmy J. Caudell, Anthony J. Cmelak, David W. Eisele, Moon Fenton, Robert L. Foote, Jill Gilbert, Maura L. Gillison, Robert I. Haddad, Wesley L. Hicks Jr, Ying J. Hitchcock, Antonio Jimeno, Debra Leizman, Ellie Maghami, Loren K. Mell, Bharat B. Mittal, Harlan A. Pinto, John A. Ridge, James Rocco, Cristina P. Rodriguez, Jatin P. Shah, Randal S. Weber, Matthew Witek, Frank Worden, Weining Zhen, Jennifer L. Burns, and Susan D. Darlow

The NCCN Guidelines for Head and Neck (H&N) Cancers provide treatment recommendations for cancers of the lip, oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, ethmoid and maxillary sinuses, and salivary glands. Recommendations are also provided for occult primary of the H&N, and separate algorithms have been developed by the panel for very advanced H&N cancers. These NCCN Guidelines Insights summarize the panel's discussion and most recent recommendations regarding evaluation and treatment of nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

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Head and Neck Cancers, Version 1.2015

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, Robert L. Foote, 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, Thomas McCaffrey, Loren K. Mell, Bharat B. Mittal, Harlan A. Pinto, John A. Ridge, Cristina P. Rodriguez, Sandeep Samant, Jatin P. Shah, Randal S. Weber, Gregory T. Wolf, Frank Worden, Sue S. Yom, Nicole McMillian, and Miranda Hughes

These NCCN Guidelines Insights focus on recent updates to the 2015 NCCN Guidelines for Head and Neck (H&N) Cancers. These Insights describe the different types of particle therapy that may be used to treat H&N cancers, in contrast to traditional radiation therapy (RT) with photons (x-ray). Research is ongoing regarding the different types of particle therapy, including protons and carbon ions, with the goals of reducing the long-term side effects from RT and improving the therapeutic index. For the 2015 update, the NCCN H&N Cancers Panel agreed to delete recommendations for neutron therapy for salivary gland cancers, because of its limited availability, which has decreased over the past 2 decades; the small number of patients in the United States who currently receive this treatment; and concerns that the toxicity of neutron therapy may offset potential disease control advantages.

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NCCN Guidelines® Insights: Head and Neck Cancers, Version 1.2022

Featured Updates to the NCCN Guidelines

Jimmy J. Caudell, Maura L. Gillison, Ellie Maghami, Sharon Spencer, David G. Pfister, Douglas Adkins, Andrew C. Birkeland, David M. Brizel, Paul M. Busse, Anthony J. Cmelak, A. Dimitrios Colevas, David W. Eisele, Thomas Galloway, Jessica L. Geiger, Robert I. Haddad, Wesley L. Hicks Jr, Ying J. Hitchcock, Antonio Jimeno, Debra Leizman, Loren K. Mell, Bharat B. Mittal, Harlan A. Pinto, James W. Rocco, Cristina P. Rodriguez, Panayiotis S. Savvides, David Schwartz, Jatin P. Shah, David Sher, Maie St. John, Randal S. Weber, Gregory Weinstein, Frank Worden, Justine Yang Bruce, Sue S. Yom, Weining Zhen, Jennifer L. Burns, and Susan D. Darlow

The NCCN Guidelines for Head and Neck Cancers address tumors arising in the oral cavity (including mucosal lip), pharynx, larynx, and paranasal sinuses. Occult primary cancer, salivary gland cancer, and mucosal melanoma (MM) are also addressed. The specific site of disease, stage, and pathologic findings guide treatment (eg, the appropriate surgical procedure, radiation targets, dose and fractionation of radiation, indications for systemic therapy). The NCCN Head and Neck Cancers Panel meets at least annually to review comments from reviewers within their institutions, examine relevant new data from publications and abstracts, and reevaluate and update their recommendations. These NCCN Guidelines Insights summarize the panel’s most recent recommendations regarding management of HPV-positive oropharynx cancer and ongoing research in this area.