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New guidelines for radiation therapy for HPV-associated head and neck cancer

Electron micrograph of a negatively stained human papilloma virus (HPV) which occurs in human warts. Credit: public domain

A multi-disciplinary task force convened by the American Society for Radiation Oncology has issued new guidelines for radiation therapy for HPV-associated oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC).

The expert task force recommends optimal dosing regimens for radiation therapy when used alone or after surgery, incorporating the latest data on minimizing doses to areas that may affect patient quality of life such as swallowing. Concurrent cisplatin chemotherapy is recommended for more advanced tumors or multiple lymph nodes.

For patients ineligible for cisplatin, a shared decision-making approach is emphasized and concurrent cetuximab, carboplatin/5-fluorouracil, or taxane-based systemic therapy are conditionally recommended. Recommendations are also given for post-treatment assessment of response to therapy.

The guideline additionally includes recommendations for postoperative settings.

New recommendations on the optimal use of for HPV-associated OPSCC are based on evidence from multiple clinical trials and aim to maintain good outcomes and reduce acute and late effects.

The study is published in the journal Practical Radiation Oncology.

More information: Danielle N. Margalit et al, Radiation Therapy for HPV-Positive Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma: An ASTRO Clinical Practice Guideline, Practical Radiation Oncology (2024). DOI: 10.1016/j.prro.2024.05.007

Journal information: Practical Radiation Oncology
Citation: New guidelines for radiation therapy for HPV-associated head and neck cancer (2024, June 18) retrieved 18 July 2024 from
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