Erin McMenamin on Head and Neck Cancer Treatments

June 28, 2012
Erin McMenamin, MSN

Erin McMenamin, MSN, Radiation Oncology, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, discusses treatments for HPV-positive head and neck cancer, which tends to have a better prognosis than HPV-negative head and neck cancers.

Erin McMenamin, MSN, Radiation Oncology, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, discusses treatments for HPV-positive head and neck cancer, which tends to have a better prognosis than HPV-negative disease.

McMenamin says treatment options for HPV-positive head and neck cancers include similar treatments to other head and neck cancers. Patients may undergo surgical resection. More commonly today, patients may have TransOral Robotic Surgery (TORS). These newer surgeries prevent the deformities caused by older treatments.

Depending on the stage of disease, patients may receive radiation postoperatively as well as chemotherapy. These treatments depend on the stage of disease and whether there is node involvement. Chemotherapy tends to be cisplatin-based, just as would be seen with an HPV-negative tumor.