Latest Research on Laryngeal and Hypopharyngeal Cancer

Executive Summary

Several latest research studies have been conducted to seek more information on laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancer, related prevention methods, diagnostic process at the initial phase, and best treatment strategies. New targeted therapies are being developed besides immunotherapy to treat the tumor better. Many targeted therapy drugs are being tested and analyzed to be employed in treatments. The use of radiosensitization involves administering medications that can make cancer cells more sensitive to radiation therapy, which will eventually help eliminate cancer. Another tested approach is known as hyperfractionated radiation therapy. In this, radiation therapy is administered in small doses every day. Pembrolizumab and Nivolumab have been approved to treat laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancers, and other types of immunotherapy drugs are being analyzed in various clinical trials. Researchers have studied the chemoprevention procedure and mainly evaluated it as an effective way to prevent the recurrence of laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancer after treatment. In photodynamic therapy, a light-sensitive substance, called photosensitive, is injected into the patient’s blood. Clinical studies are currently being conducted to find new ways to reduce the symptoms and side effects of current laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancer treatments to improve patients’ comfort and quality of life.

Advancement in Laryngeal and Hypopharyngeal Cancer Research

Scientists and doctors constantly analyze and learn more about laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancers. They are trying to devise better strategies to prevent and treat cancer. Many studies focus on discovering methods to provide the best possible treatment and care for people with laryngeal or hypopharyngeal cancer.

Many clinical trials are underway to test different treatment options for successfully treating laryngeal and hypopharyngeal tumours. Patients or the caretakers are encouraged to talk with the doctor to learn about all the best available diagnostic methods, treatment options, and current research concerning this type of cancer growth. 

The following are some latest researches on laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancer treatment and care ​1​.

  • Targeted and tumour-specific therapy: with many advancements in cancer treatment and cure, researchers are developing new targeted therapies besides immunotherapy to treat the tumour better. Many targeted therapy drugs are being tested and analyzed to be employed in treatments.
  • Radiation therapy: Studies analyze efficient ways to use radiation therapy procedures to treat cancer. One such approach is radiosensitization, which involves administering drugs that can make cancer cells more sensitive to radiation therapy, which will eventually help eliminate cancer ​2​. Another tested approach is known as hyperfractionated radiation therapy. In this, radiation therapy is administered in small doses every day.
  • Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy, also known as biologic therapy, is a treatment procedure that boosts the body’s natural defences to fight cancerous growth. Pembrolizumab and Nivolumab have been approved to treat laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancers, and other types of immunotherapy drugs are being analyzed in various clinical trials ​3​.
  • Chemoprevention: Chemoprevention procedure has been studied and mainly evaluated by researchers as an effective way to prevent the recurrence of laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancer after treatment ​4​. Chemoprevention involves using medications or supplements to lower the risk of cancer or tumor.
  • Photodynamic therapy: In photodynamic therapy, a light-sensitive substance, called photosensitive, is injected into the patient’s blood ​5​. Cancer cells (abnormal cells) hold onto the substance longer than normal, healthy cells. After that, lasers are directed at the area of the cancerous growth, and the substance in the cells is activated to destroy and eliminate the cancer cells.
  • Palliative care/supportive care: Clinical studies are currently being conducted to find new ways to reduce the symptoms and side effects of current laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancer treatments to improve patients’ comfort and quality of life.

References

  1. 1.
    Eckel HE. Aktuelle Therapieoptionen bei Larynx- und Hypopharynxkarzinomen. HNO. Published online January 2012:6-18. doi:10.1007/s00106-011-2422-9
  2. 2.
    Gamez ME, Blakaj A, Zoller W, Bonomi M, Blakaj DM. Emerging Concepts and Novel Strategies in Radiation Therapy for Laryngeal Cancer Management. Cancers. Published online June 22, 2020:1651. doi:10.3390/cancers12061651
  3. 3.
    Economopoulou P, Perisanidis C, Giotakis EI, Psyrri A. The emerging role of immunotherapy in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC): anti-tumor immunity and clinical applications. Ann Transl Med. Published online May 2016:173-173. doi:10.21037/atm.2016.03.34
  4. 4.
    Siemianowicz K, Likus W, Dorecka M, Wilk R, Dziubdziela W, Markowski J. Chemoprevention of Head and Neck Cancers: Does It Have Only One Face? BioMed Research International. Published online September 25, 2018:1-15. doi:10.1155/2018/9051854
  5. 5.
    Lambert A, Nees L, Nuyts S, et al. Photodynamic Therapy as an Alternative Therapeutic Tool in Functionally Inoperable Oral and Oropharyngeal Carcinoma: A Single Tertiary Center Retrospective Cohort Analysis. Front Oncol. Published online March 4, 2021. doi:10.3389/fonc.2021.626394