Henry Ford Hospital, Michigan, in collaboration with the ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group and the National Cancer Institute, is beginning to enroll patients for a clinical trial to assess the effects of lower dose radiation therapy after robotic cancer surgery for the treatment of oropharyngeal cancer.
The trial wants to compare the efficiency of lose-dose and standard-dose radiation in patients who undergo TransOral Robotic Surgery (TORS), a type of minimally-invasive procedure that can access tumors through the mouth without an incision.
The hospital is recruiting patients diagnosed with stage 3 or stage 4 HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancer that will be treated with the TORS procedure, and will receive radiation therapy and eventually chemotherapy.
Oropharyngeal cancer is a type of malignancy that affects several regions of the throat, tongue, tonsils, soft palate and pharynx. According to the American Cancer Society, around 37,000 people will be diagnosed with oropharyngeal cancer this year in the U.S. alone, and 7,300 will die from the disease.
TORS, which utilizes the Vinci® Surgical System, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to remove oropharyngeal and oral cavity tumors, allowing surgeons to access the malignant growth through a patient’s mouth in an efficient and minimally invasive manner.
“Prescribing radiation therapy and chemotherapy may kill any tumor cells that remain after surgery,” study leader Tamer Ghanem, M.D., Ph.D., director of Head and Neck Oncology and Reconstructive Surgery Division in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at Henry Ford Hospital said in a Newswise news release. “The aim of the study is to reduce the amount of postoperative radiation to decrease the toxicity to the patients who fit certain criteria based on their surgical findings.”
The clinical trial is composed of four different arms of patients who will undergo TORS for tumor removal and either: don’t receive any additional treatment; receive low-dose radiation therapy five days a week for five weeks; receive standard-dose radiation therapy five days a week for six weeks or five days a week for six to seven weeks and also receive chemotherapy.
The selection of patients into either one of the study arms is based on each individual’s cancer pathology. Moreover, subjects need to be 18 years or older and diagnosed with clinical stage 3 or stage 4 squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx that is HPV-positive.
For further information, patients interested in participating can visit this site, or call (313) 916-9826.