Navigation Links
HPV Tied to Better Tongue, Tonsil Cancer Outcomes

Patients more likely to survive using chemoradiation, and new treatments may follow

WEDNESDAY, May 14 (HealthDay News) -- Tonsil and tongue cancers linked to human papillomavirus (HPV) are most responsive to current chemotherapy and radiation treatments, while those that express high levels of a growth factor called EGFR are the least responsive and most deadly, a new study concludes.

University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers identified a series of markers that identify which patients are most likely to survive these types of cancers. The findings are a promising step toward the development of individualized treatments for tonsil and tongue cancers, according to the authors of two papers published online May 12 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology and expected to be in the July 1 print issue.

"The chemotherapy and radiation therapy we use to treat this type of cancer is very aggressive. If we can identify those patients most likely to respond, we could reduce the intensity of the therapy for those likely to have the best outcomes. At the same time, we hope to identify new treatments that specifically target those tumors that we know are not responding to current therapies," Thomas Carey, co-director of the head and neck oncology program at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center, said in a prepared statement. He was the senior author on both papers.

The researchers gave an initial course of chemotherapy to 66 people with advanced oropharyngeal cancer, which includes cancer of the tonsils and the base of the tongue. Patients (54) who responded to this initial treatment then received a full course of simultaneous chemotherapy and radiation. Patients (11) who didn't respond to the initial chemotherapy were referred for surgery.

Of the 54 patients who responded to the initial chemotherapy, 62 percent are alive today without evidence of cancer, and 73 percent fully preserved their organs. Of the 11 patients referred for surgery, only four survived.

"For most patients, the chemoradiation was very effective. But a subset of patients still do not do well. Our next step was to look at the biomarkers to see if we could determine which patients were responding to treatment, based on tumor biology," said Carey, who is also an associate chair and professor of otolaryngology and pharmacology at the U-M Medical School.

The researchers found that 64 percent of the tumors were positive for high-risk strains of HPV. Almost all of the HPV-positive tumors responded to initial chemotherapy, and 78 percent of those patients survived with their organs intact. Of the HPV-negative patients, only four of 15 survived. In addition, patients with the EGFR marker had worse outcomes.

"The combination of markers was an important indicator. Patients whose tumors expressed high levels of EGFR did poorly. But those who had high EGFR and were also HPV-positive had some protection. Patients with high EGFR and low HPV fared the worst," Bhavna Kumar, a research laboratory specialist who was lead author on both papers, said in a prepared statement.

The U-M team also found that patients with low expression of protein called p53 and high expression of a protein called BCLXL also had poor outcomes.

More information

The American Cancer Society has more about oral and oropharyngeal cancers.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: University of Michigan Health System, news release, May 12, 2008

Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. A Better Tomorrow Becomes One of the First Rehabilitation Clinics in the Nation to Offer Financing for Its Drug, Alcohol and Gambling Treatment Programs
2. High-Tech Imaging No Better for Diagnosing Head/Neck Cancers
3. HPV linked to better survival in tonsil, tongue cancer, U-M study finds
4. Young Adults Using Alcohol, Drugs for Better Sex
5. Stroke Survivors Walk Better With Human Help
6. When statins arent enough: New trial drug points to better management of coronary heart disease
7. New Evidence Provides Clinicians With Better Tools to Help Smokers Quit
8. Medical research is essential to improving the economy and bettering lives
9. Simple Steps Lead to Better Blood Pressure Control
10. Improving Access to Safe Water, Sanitation, Hygiene Requires Better Decision-Making Tools, Finds Joint Wilson Center-Pacific Institute Report
11. New research on hearing health underscores the importance of better hearing and speech month
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 25, 2015 , ... Dr. John Pierce, Medical Director at the Ageless Forever ... with the Capillus272™ Pro laser therapy cap. FDA cleared for safety and efficacy, the ... the need for surgery, prescription pills, or topical foams. , “Capillus272™ Pro is ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... According to an ... robot is being more and more widely heralded as a breakthrough for performing hernia ... method has over traditional laparoscopic surgery is that it can greatly reduce the pain ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Wimbledon Health ... launches new Wimbledon Athletics Facebook page to educate the public, parents ... cardiac abnormalities. About 2,000 people under the age of 25 die from sudden ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... SCOTTSDALE, ... facial plastic surgeon specializing in both surgical and non-surgical treatments, announced the expansion ... at Hobgood Facial Plastic Surgery. , Highly trained and nationally recognized for ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... “While riding the bus, I saw a ... “I thought there had to be a convenient and comfortable way to protect them ... enables disabled individuals to safely travel during cold or inclement weather. In doing so, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... --> --> Juntendo University Hospital ... weighting of MRI for patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) ... with SyntheticMR in order to use SyMRI in clinical research ... generate multiple contrast images from a single scan and adjust ... it possible to both fine tune images and recreate additional ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ) has ... Future Horizons and Growth Strategies in the ... Shares, Country Segment Forecasts, Competitive Intelligence, Emerging ... --> ) has announced the ... and Growth Strategies in the French Drugs ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 Research and Markets ( ... Wound Care Market by Type (Dressings, Therapy Devices, Active ... Facility, Out-Patient Facility), and Geography - Global Forecast to ... --> --> The purpose of ... forecast of the global advanced wound care market. It ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: