Head and Neck Cancer Research
At University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center, our head and neck cancer patients benefit from access to clinical trials and promising research. Known nationally as innovators in the field, our physician-researchers are dedicated to bringing new treatments to patients as quickly as possible.
Clinical researchers dedicate themselves to investigating new drugs, biological therapies and cancer growth blockers, including novel compounds to prevent progressive tumor growth in aggressive oral cancers.
Testing, Treating and Tracking a New Threat to Young People
UH Seidman Cancer Center head and neck oncologists helped track links between oral cancer and human papillomavirus (HPV)
This virus causes cancer to develop in the tonsils and throat of younger people, including nonsmokers and nondrinkers. In most cases it is curable, especially if it is treated early. In fact, our research confirms that the survival rate for human papillomavirus-related oropharynx cancer is higher than non HPV-related cancer.
Trials Aimed at Reducing Cancer Recurrence
For patients with locally advanced disease, our physicians are engaged in a Phase II clinical trial of the epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor erlotinib (Tarceva) in combination with docetaxel administered concurrently with radiation. In addition, Tarceva is given for up to two years after concurrent chemoradiation therapy is complete to evaluate if the frequency of recurrences will decrease.
For patients with recurrent or metastatic head and neck cancer, our medical oncology team is leading a Phase III clinical trial coordinated by the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group. The purpose of the trial is to evaluate the effectiveness of adding the anti-angiogenesis monoclonal antibody bevacizumab (Avastin) to a standard chemotherapy regimen to fight head and neck cancers.
Biomarker Reveals Better Survival Rates and Responses to Chemotherapy
UH Seidman Cancer Center clinical researchers have found that patients with anaplastic thyroid carcinoma and a low level of the biomarker intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM1) have a better chance of survival and an increased response to chemotherapy. This biomarker appears to serve as a much better predictor of survival rates than a patient's gender, overall health and the location of the cancer.