New Indicator May Help Identify Patients With Increased Risk From Throat Cancer

University of Michigan

Researchers at the Health System have found a new indicator that may predict which patients with a common type of throat cancer are most likely have the cancer spread to other parts of their bodies.

Head & Neck

Patients with oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma who had "matted" lymph nodes — nodes that are connected together – had a 69% survival rate over 3 years, compared to 94% for patients without matted nodes, according to a study published online ahead of print publication in .

"The spread of cancer throughout the body accounts for about 45% of the deaths from oropharyngeal carcinoma," says the study's senior author, Douglas B. Chepeha, M.D., M.S.P.H., an associate professor of otolaryngology head and neck surgery at the U-M Medical School. "Our findings may help doctors identify patients who are at higher risk for having their cancer metastasize and who would benefit from additional systemic therapy. Conversely, some patients without matted nodes may benefit from a reduction of the current standard treatment, which would cut down on uncomfortable side effects."

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Source: PRNewswire-USNewswire

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