A Case for Radiation Enhancement in Head and Neck Cancer


Two new exploratory studies presented at a 2024 conference highlighted the potential benefits of using radioenhancers in combination with radiation therapy for head and neck cancers. The studies showed that these agents, such as the hedgehog pathway inhibitor vismodegib and hafnium oxide nanoparticles (NBTXR3), can improve local control rates, progression-free survival, and overall survival in patients with advanced, unresectable cancers. The use of vismodegib alongside radiation therapy resulted in a significantly higher 1-year local control rate for patients with basal cell carcinoma, while NBTXR3 enhanced radiation therapy outcomes in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. These promising results suggest a possible role for radioenhancers in the treatment of head and neck cancers.

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