2016-Year in Review: Advances in Management of Head and Neck Cancer

Globally, head and neck cancer (HNC) comprises the seventh most common type of cancer with an estimated 400,000-600,000 diagnoses every year. 2016 saw significant advances in understanding the role of Human Papilloma Virus in head and neck cancers and breakthrough advances in treatment with precision medicines that help the immune system recognize and attack cancer.

PD-1 is a protein that inhibits certain types of immune responses. Drugs that block PD-1 enhance the ability of the immune system to fight cancer. Keytruda and Opdivo are both PD-1 inhibitors that work by blocking PD-1 and have demonstrated impressive activity in the treatment of head and neck cancers. PD-1 inhibitors represent a significant advance in the treatment of head and neck cancers and will continue to be evaluated in combination with other novel and established therapies in 2017 in order to further advance the outcomes of individuals with head and neck cancers.

CancerConnect News coverage of advances in the management of head and neck cancer included the following key developments in 2016:

2016 HNC Research News

Other 2016 Head & Neck Cancer News



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