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ASCO highlights podcast: head and neck cancers
  1. Marco Merlano
  1. Department of Medical Oncology, Santa Croce General Hospital, Cuneo, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Dr Marco Merlano; mcmerlano{at}

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A critical review of the head and neck cancer research highlights of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting 2016, held in June 2016 in Chicago, is presented in this podcast. Considering the most interesting and practice-changing trials reported at the meeting, the key trial comparing gemcitabine plus cisplatin against 5-FU (5-fluorouracil) plus cisplatin in the treatment of nasopharyngeal carcinoma is highlighted. The GORTEC2007-02 trial comparing induction docetaxel/platinum/5-FU followed by cetuximab-radiotherapy against concurrent chemo-radiotherapy for N2b/c-N3 non operated stage III-IV squamous cell cancer of the head and neck is also discussed. An overview of the research reported using immunotherapy in head and neck cancer is also given, considering maturing data and particularly in relapsing patients, where response rates, though low, are better than with current therapies, and the responses are long lasting. Future developments are also considered, again with a focus on immunotherapy, but also considering combination with radiotherapy and chemoradiation.

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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