Dr. Spencer on Radiation Therapy for Patients With Head and Neck Cancer

Sharon Spencer, MD
Published: Thursday, Apr 14, 2016



Sharon Spencer, MD, professor, chief of Medical Services, Ruby Meredith Outstanding Clinician Endowed Chair, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, discusses the types of radiation therapy available to patients with head and neck cancer.

Immunomodulating radiation therapy has become a standard treatment for patients, Spencer explains. However, as research has evolved, she adds that patient outcomes can be improved upon. Proton therapy may be a more precise technique compared with photon therapy, for example, in terms of sparing tissue in young and healthy patients.

Additionally, Spencer suggests that heavy-ion or neutron therapy could be a method used to potentially cure more patients, as these treatments represent a more targeted approach. Further research will answer these questions, she adds.


Sharon Spencer, MD, professor, chief of Medical Services, Ruby Meredith Outstanding Clinician Endowed Chair, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, discusses the types of radiation therapy available to patients with head and neck cancer.

Immunomodulating radiation therapy has become a standard treatment for patients, Spencer explains. However, as research has evolved, she adds that patient outcomes can be improved upon. Proton therapy may be a more precise technique compared with photon therapy, for example, in terms of sparing tissue in young and healthy patients.

Additionally, Spencer suggests that heavy-ion or neutron therapy could be a method used to potentially cure more patients, as these treatments represent a more targeted approach. Further research will answer these questions, she adds.



View Conference Coverage
Online CME Activities
TitleExpiration DateCME Credits
Clinical Interchange™: Translating Research to Inform Changing Paradigms: Assessment of Emerging Immuno-Oncology Strategies and Combinations across Lung, Head and Neck, and Bladder CancersOct 31, 20182.0
Community Practice Connections™: Precision Medicine for Community Oncologists: Assessing the Role of Tumor-Testing Technologies in Cancer CareNov 30, 20181.0
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