Dr. Frakes on Managing Late Toxicities Associated With Treatment for HPV+ Oropharyngeal SCC

February 26, 2016
Jessica Frakes, MD

Jessica Frakes, MD, assistant professor of Radiation Oncology, Department of Radiation Oncology, Moffitt Cancer Center, discusses management of toxicities associated with treatment of patients with HPV-positive oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma.

Jessica Frakes, MD, assistant professor of Radiation Oncology, Department of Radiation Oncology, Moffitt Cancer Center, discusses management of toxicities arising from treatment of patients with HPV-positive oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC).

In patients treated with definitive radiation therapy, most recurrences can be detected via imaging at 3 months and physical examinations during the first 6 months after treatment, according to a recent study. Previously, most of these HPV-positive cancers were smoking related and patients had poorer outcomes, Frakes explains. This differs from the younger and healthier group of HPV-associated patients who are treated today.

Because of this younger subset, Frakes says it is important to ensure there is no increase in toxicities so that they maintain good quality of life. In an assessment of toxicities in the study, only 2% of patients reported persistent late toxicities at their most recent follow-up. This demonstrated that researchers properly monitored toxicities associated with definitive radiation therapy and that this type of management should be carried out going forward, she adds.

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