Induction Chemotherapy: Study Finds No Benefit In Head and Neck Cancer

Enhancing the survival rate of people with advanced head and neck cancer is a serious concern for many oncologists. One common treatment protocol, however, may not offer the benefits once thought. A recent study shed light on the relative inability for induction chemotherapy followed by radiation to provide a benefit for patients with more advanced cases. The study found, overall, that concurrent chemoradiation provided better results.

The most recent study into this topic involved a review of more than 8,000 patient cases. Overall, it was found that induction chemotherapy did not greatly enhance survival rates. In fact, those treated with the induction process were found to die about a year sooner than those who underwent concurrent treatments involving both chemotherapy and radiation. Researchers did note that radiation dosages did play a role in survival rates. They also acknowledged there are cases where induction chemotherapy can prove to be an important first step.

Head and neck cancers encompass a wide number of cancers. They include cancers of the throat, lips, mouth, salivary glands and larynx, among others. Due to their location, these cancers can prove to be difficult to treat. Standard treatments for head and neck cancers may vary based on the type of cancer, the aggressiveness and the size of the tumor. Surgery, chemotherapy and radiation may all play roles in the treatment process for some patients.

People who are concerned about head and neck cancer are urged to take steps to lower their risks for the disease. Tobacco use is one of the biggest known risk factors for these types of cancer. In addition, the HPV virus may play a role in the development of some head and neck cancers. Vaccines that combat HPV can be helpful preventative tools for younger people. These vaccines are recommended for both boys and girls around the age of 11 or 12. Younger adults, however, may also benefit from their effects.

People who are diagnosed with head and neck cancers should discuss treatment options with their healthcare providers. The best recommendations will hinge on the particulars of the case in question.

 

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