Palbociclib and Cetuximab Show Promise in Head and Neck Cancer

Many cases of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV); however, HNSCCs can be caused by a variety of factors, including p16INK4A inactivation (an inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinase 4A) and overexpression of the oncogene cyclin D1. This results in the stimulation of cyclin-dependent kinase 4 and 6 (CDK4/6). Overexpression of cyclin D1 can also cause resistance to epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitors. To overcome this resistance, resea...
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HPV-Linked Head and Neck Cancer: Biomarker Predicts Outcome

A biomarker that can be identified by blood test was discovered to be a potential indicator of prognosis for human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated oropharyngeal cancer. "Head and neck cancers that are caused by HPV infection tend to have a better overall outcome than head and neck cancers related to other factors like smoking and alcohol," said Gaorav Gupta, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Radiation at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and senior author of the...
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FDA Approval: Pembrolizumab for Head and Neck Cancer

Pembrolizumab (Keytruda®, Merck) is now approved by the FDA for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma as first-line treatment in combination with platinum and 5-fluorouracil. Pembrolizumab is already FDA approved to treat advanced non-small cell lung cancer, advanced urothelial bladder cancer, classical Hodgkin lymphoma, primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma, and many other cancers. This immunotherapy drug inhibits programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) in order to increase the body's ability to a...
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NSAIDs Increase Survival for PIK3CA-altered Head and Neck Cancer

According to a new study, over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin, have been found to significantly increase survival in patients with PIK3CA-altered head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). A mutation in PIK3CA, the gene encoding p110a and the catalytic subunit of phosphoinositide-(3)-kinase a, commonly occurs in HNSCC. In prior research, a sample of 504 patients with HNSCC tumors yielded 174 tumors containing a PIK3CA mutation. In patients with HN...
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