OncLive Community Discussion to Center on De-Intensification Strategies in OPSCC

The question of what the accepted therapeutic strategies for de-intensification in low-risk, HPV-related oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma are will be debated in an upcoming discussion.

The question of what the accepted therapeutic strategies for de-intensification in low-risk, HPV-related oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) are will be debated in an upcoming discussion within the OncLive® Community, which will take place from September 10 to 17.

The discussion will be moderated by Nabil Saba, MD, professor, hematology and medical oncology and Department of Otolaryngology, and director, Head and Neck Medical Oncology Program, at Emory University School of Medicine.

The purpose of the discussion, Saba said, is to gauge the different practices of treatment de-intensification for patients with HPV-related OPSCC in the community and discuss appropriate de-intensification approaches.

Additionally, Saba explained that he hopes the discussion will “provide an agreeable framework for applying deintensification approaches.”

Despite decreasing rates of smoking and alcohol consumption, the incidence of OPSCC has increased. The uptake can be attributed to HPV oral infections, which has created a new, clinically distinctive form of OPSCC. The patient populations with HPV-positive OPSCC are typically younger and have a better prognosis than HPV-negative patients.

Moreover, data have demonstrated that patients with HPV-positive OPSCC have a reduced risk of mortality versus those with HPV-negative disease. Patients who are HPV-positive, have lower T and N disease stages, and a minimal smoking history represent a low-risk case and may not require the same intensity of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgical treatment. Therefore, investigations are ongoing to de-escalate treatment for these patients, in an effort to reduce short- and long-term toxicity and improve quality of life.

Beyond Saba, Conor Steuer, MD, an assistant professor of Emory University School of Medicine, and Hisham Mehanna, chair of Head and Neck Surgery, director of the Institute of Head and Neck Studies and Education at the Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences, and director of the Institute for Global Innovation at University of Birmingham, will both serve as experts providing commentary and sharing insight throughout the discussion.

Discussion points will include guidelines for administering available HPV vaccines based on gender disparities, challenges with using less-intensive therapy in this patient population, and characteristics to look for in determining whether de-intensified treatment is an option for patients with HPV-positive OPSCC.

In conclusion, Saba said he is “excited about learning what is currently happening as far as practices in the community and how different oncologic experts approach this topic.”

To view and/or participate in the discussion, visit https://community.onclive.com/discussions/debate-accepted-strategies-for-de-intensification-in-low-risk-hpv-related-oropharyngeal-squamous-cell-carcinoma-opscc.

A second discussion being moderated by Saba is poised to take place October 14 through October 22, and will focus on the appropriate use of checkpoint inhibition in the management of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. The debate will be joined by Ezra Cohen, MD, FRCPSC, FASCO, a medical oncologist, and associate director, Translational Science, Moores Cancer Center, and professor of medicine at the University of California San Diego Health.

The OncLive® Community comprises community, academic, and clinical oncologists throughout the world. Nurse practitioners, physician assistants, case managers, and all allied health professionals also contribute to this unique, diverse community of professionals working in the field of oncology. Together, the community is designed to improve today cancer care. This platform is a forum where all users can communicate and collaborate in real time to provide solutions to current challenges.

To join the OncLive® Community, visit https://community.onclive.com/pages/home.