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New Treatment Approach to Avoid Treatment Related Suicide Among Head and Neck Cancer Survivors

Scheme of Carotid Artery Infusion via Jet-Port-Allround Catheters with Chemofiltration

Results of a new treatment approach for head and neck cancers published in the World Journal of Surgical Oncology

BURGHAUSEN, GERMANY, September 5, 2018 / -- Among cancer survivors, head and neck cancer patients have the highest risk for suicide as reported in an article from Roxanne Nelson, Medscape, February 20, 2018.

Chemoradiotherapy is the standard of care and is associated with improved response and survival rates. Nevertheless, because of the high incidence of long-lasting treatment associated toxicities there is a call for the effective management of post-therapeutic quality of life issues faced by heavily treated patients.

Regional chemotherapy due to its high local drug concentrations is considered a targeted therapy to the tumor area. Professor Dr. Karl R. Aigner and his group at Medias Klinikum Burghausen, a hospital specialized in surgical oncology and the techniques of regional chemotherapy, recently published a new article in the World Journal of Surgical Oncology on a new treatment approach for head and neck cancers on the example of tonsils cancers, that highlights a positive improvement to standard therapies. In a study of Epstein JB published in A Cancer Journal for Clinicians in 2012 and Misono S in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in 2008, the authors already reported that a continuously impaired quality of life does contribute to an increased risk of head and neck cancer treatment related suicide and remains virtually throughout a cancer survivor’s life. Suicide is considered a major threat to head and neck cancer survivorship.

In order to avoid exceeding toxicity from standard therapies, Professor Dr. Aigner and his group therefore considered a new treatment approach in terms of regional chemotherapy via implantable arterial port catheters for intra-arterial infusion. The method of intra-arterial infusion – that can be applied for all types of head and neck cancers - generates high regional cytostatic concentrations despite low total dosage. In combination with simultaneous chemofiltration, systemic toxicity can be kept very low. The results obtained in this trial showed that regional chemotherapy (RCT) significantly improves locoregional and distant tumor control and quality of life compared to standard therapies. As such, the approach of intra-arterial chemotherapy can be an option to be considered as a first step prior to irradiation.

The data of this trial was published in the World Journal of Surgical Oncology in June 2018.

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Medias Klinikum GmbH & Co KG
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