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Recurrent head and neck cancers have a high resistance, therefore chemotherapy with radiotherapy is often the recommended treatment. Patients with recurrent head and neck cancer after undergoing chemotherapy and radiation have limited treatment options, primarily salvage therapy. Many of these cancers are unresectable or patients choose not to undergo surgery.

Dr. Michelle Echevarria, head and neck radiation oncologist, presented results at ASCO 2020 of a phase 1 study looking at radioresistance in this population who are not always able to undergo surgery. The study was designed to determine the safety and maximum tolerance dose of stereotactic body radiation therapy with concurrent Cisplatin chemotherapy in patients with recurrent head and neck cancer.

The trial included twenty patients with primary tumors in the oropharynx, oral cavity, neck or larynx. Patients were evaluated in 3 different dose levels (30 Gy, 35 Gy and 40 Gy) and treated with radiation therapy for 5 fractions, with Cisplatin administered prior to radiation. Results of the study found that administering stereotactic body radiation therapy with concurrent Cisplatin is a well-tolerated and feasible treatment option, with no dose limiting toxicity for patients with recurrent head and neck cancers. 

View the abstract and poster for more information about the study.

To learn more about head and neck clinical trials or to refer a patient, complete our online form or contact a physician liaison for assistance or support.  As part of our efforts to shorten referral times as much as possible, online referrals are typically responded to within 24 - 48 hours.