To better treat recurrent and metastatic head and neck cancers, oncologists must better understand the molecular landscape by sequencing these tumors, according to a study published in JAMA Oncology.1
Researchers enrolled 151 patients with head and neck cancers, each of which was advanced and treatment-resistant. Tumors were sequenced as part of clinical care, including “high-depth (median 600x) exonic coverage of 410 cancer genes and whole-genome copy number analysis.”
Targeted treatment, using genetic sequencing, guided treatment for 14% of patients; it was found that genetic profiles of metastatic and recurrent tumors were different from those of the corresponding primary tumors.
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Similar molecular profiles were found for both metastatic and recurrent human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive and -negative tumors, in contrast with those of primary tumors.
The authors concluded that precision treatment is starting to improve understanding of molecular changes in metastatic or treatment-resistant head and neck cancers.
- Morris LG, Chandramohan R, West L, et al. The molecular landscape of recurrent and metastatic head and neck cancers. JAMA Oncol. 21 July 2016. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2016.1790 [Epub ahead of print]