Head and Neck Cancer

  • Treatment of Older Patients With Head and Neck Cancer: A Review: Typical multimodality treatment for head and neck cancer has a high rate of morbidity, and older patients’ decreased functionality and comorbidities put them at an even greater risk of not being able to tolerate this treatment. In this article from The Oncologist, researchers detail their literature review findings in a study of treatment recommendations for older patients with head and neck cancer. They explain that although older patients have similar outcomes as younger patients, they do suffer greater toxicity and need more supportive care, and geriatric assessment tools can help the treatment decision-making process for this population.
  • Head and Neck Cancer in the Older Adult: Approaches in Evaluation and Management: This Current Geriatric Reports article reviews many of the recent advances in head and neck cancer research and how they apply to older patients. The authors focus on risk factors, surgical treatment, radiation and chemotherapy regimens, complications, and survivorship related to head and neck cancer in this population.
  • American Cancer Society Head and Neck Cancer Survivorship Guideline: This set of guidelines although not specific to older adults is one of the more recent syntheses of short- and late-term toxicities of head and neck cancer therapies, as well as cancer surveillance and issues pertaining to secondary primary cancers in this patient population, and unique psychosocial issues.
  • Abstract 22-01-O: Quality of Life in Elderly/Frail Patients with Glioblastoma Multiforme: Results of the IAEA Randomized Phase III Study Comparing Short and Standard Course of Radiotherapy: Researchers from the International Atomic Energy Agency compared short-course radiation and standard-course radiation in elderly and/or frail adults with glioblastoma multiforme. This abstract from the 2015 International MASSCC/ISOO Symposium shows that the health-related quality of life between the two arms did not differ. Because progression-free and overall survival did not differ either, researchers suggest that the shorter-course could be a treatment option for this older population.