Study Tests Preoperative Therapy for Easing Resection Burden in Rare Cancer

Brittany Lovely
Published: Tuesday, Feb 19, 2019
Nabil F. Saba, MD

Nabil F. Saba, MD
A recently launched clinical trial aims to improve outcomes and quality of life for patients with nasal and paranasal squamous cell carcinoma (NPNSCC), a rare type of head and neck cancer that is challenging to treat and carries significant morbidity.

“Other possible adverse effects include facial disfigurement if they get a big surgical resection, or patients may experience complications including cerebral spinal fluid leaks if they have a base-of-skull resection,” said Saba, director of the Head and Neck Medical Oncology Program at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

Study Design

Overall, an estimated 3% to 5% of patients with head and neck cancers have primary tumors of the sinonasal tract, accounting for approximately 2000 people a year in the United States.2,3 There are several histological subtypes of NPNSCC, with the most common being squamous cell carcinoma. The study will focus on patients with a diagnosis of stage T3 or T4a advanced NPNSCC (Figure 2). These categories include tumors that have invaded the bone of the posterior wall of the maxillary sinus, the ethmoid sinuses, or the anterior orbital contents, according to the American Joint Committee on Cancer staging system.4 To participate in the trial, patients must be candidates for surgical resection.
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