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 p16 INK4A 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, rese...
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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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Like Smoking, Vaping Creates Cancer-Causing Changes

The last few years have seen a nearly 10-fold increase in electronic cigarette (e-cig) use, or "vaping," particularly among adult smokers and among adolescents who have never smoked a cigarette. E-cigs are frequently touted as a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes, but new research done at the University of Southern California (USC) reveals that vaping produces some of the same cancer-causing molecular changes to oral tissue that are produced by cigarette smoking. "The existing data show...
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Genetic Cause Identified in Acinic Cell Carcinoma

​ For the first time, researchers have gained insight into the molecular causes of acinic cell carcinoma, the third most common salivary gland cancer. "Our research means that we can now diagnose acinic cell carcinomas in the salivary glands more easily and understand the fundamental biological processes behind tumor growth. In the long term, we hope that we will also be able to develop new ways of treating patients on the basis of this new research," commented Dr. Florian Haller, Professor in t...
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