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Oncology Specialist (cancer)
29 years of experience
Accepting new patients
Video profile


Education ?

Medical School Score Rankings
Yale University (1983)
Top 25%

Awards & Distinctions ?

One of America's Leading Experts on:
Head and Neck Cancer (Head and Neck Neoplasm)
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Castle Connolly America's Top Doctors® (2010 - 2015)
Castle Connolly America's Top Doctors® for Cancer (2005 - 2007, 2009 - 2012, 2014 - 2015)
Stanford Hospital & Clinics
American Board of Internal Medicine
American Society of Clinical Oncology

Affiliations ?

Dr. Pinto is affiliated with 4 hospitals.

Hospital Affiliations



  • Stanford Hospital and Clinics *
    Medical Oncology
    300 Pasteur Dr, Stanford, CA 94305
    Top 25%
  • Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital @ Stanford
    725 Welch Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94304
    Top 50%
  • Palo Alto Veterans Affairs Medical Center
    3801 Miranda Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94304
  • VA Health Care System - Palo Alto *
  • * This information was reported to Vitals by the doctor or doctor's office.

    Publications & Research

    Dr. Pinto has contributed to 26 publications.
    Title National Comprehensive Cancer Network Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology. Head and Neck Cancers.
    Date November 2011
    Journal Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network : Jnccn
    Title Opportunistic Enteroviral Meningoencephalitis: an Unusual Treatable Complication of Rituximab Therapy.
    Date September 2009
    Journal Leukemia & Lymphoma
    Title Peptides Containing T Cell Epitopes, Derived from Sm14, but Not from Paramyosin, Induce a Th1 Type of Immune Response, Reduction in Liver Pathology and Partial Protection Against Schistosoma Mansoni Infection in Mice.
    Date August 2008
    Journal Acta Tropica

    Sm14 and paramyosin are two major Schistosoma mansoni vaccine candidate antigens. Recently, we have identified Sm14 and paramyosin epitopes that are recognized by T cells of resistant individuals living in endemic areas for schistosomiasis. Herein, mice were immunized with these peptides separately or in association in order to evaluate their vaccine potential. Immunization of mice with Sm14 peptides alone or mixed with paramyosin peptides was able to induce 26%-36.7% or 28%-29.2% of worm burden reduction, 67% or 46% of intestinal eggs reduction and also 54%-61% or 43%-52% of liver pathology reduction, respectively. Protection was associated with a Th1 type of immune response induced by Sm14 peptide immunization. In contrast, paramyosin peptide vaccination did not engender protective immunity or liver pathology reduction and immunization was associated with a Th2 type of immune response.

    Title Excellent Local Control with Stereotactic Radiotherapy Boost After External Beam Radiotherapy in Patients with Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma.
    Date June 2008
    Journal International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics

    PURPOSE: To determine long-term outcomes in patients receiving stereotactic radiotherapy (SRT) as a boost after external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) for locally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). METHODS AND MATERIALS: Eight-two patients received an SRT boost after EBRT between September 1992 and July 2006. Nine patients had T1, 30 had T2, 12 had T3, and 31 had T4 tumors. Sixteen patients had Stage II, 19 had Stage III, and 47 had Stage IV disease. Patients received 66 Gy of EBRT followed by a single-fraction SRT boost of 7-15 Gy, delivered 2-6 weeks after EBRT. Seventy patients also received cisplatin-based chemotherapy delivered concurrently with and adjuvant to radiotherapy. RESULTS: At a median follow-up of 40.7 months (range, 6.5-144.2 months) for living patients, there was only 1 local failure in a patient with a T4 tumor. At 5 years, the freedom from local relapse rate was 98%, freedom from nodal relapse 83%, freedom from distant metastasis 68%, freedom from any relapse 67%, and overall survival 69%. Late toxicity included radiation-related retinopathy in 3, carotid aneurysm in 1, and radiographic temporal lobe necrosis in 10 patients, of whom 2 patients were symptomatic with seizures. Of 10 patients with temporal lobe necrosis, 9 had T4 tumors. CONCLUSION: Stereotactic radiotherapy boost after EBRT provides excellent local control for patients with NPC. Improved target delineation and dose homogeneity of radiation delivery for both EBRT and SRT is important to avoid long-term complications. Better systemic therapies for distant control are needed.

    Title Plasma Osteopontin is an Independent Prognostic Marker for Head and Neck Cancers.
    Date December 2006
    Journal Journal of Clinical Oncology : Official Journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology

    PURPOSE: To confirm the relationship between plasma osteopontin (OPN) levels and treatment outcomes in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) patients in an expanded study. PATIENTS AND METHODS: One hundred forty patients with newly diagnosed HNSCC were enrolled onto this study, 54 previously reported and 86 new patients. Pretreatment plasma OPN levels were assessed in all patients by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay method. OPN levels were correlated to treatment outcomes in the new group of patients. Detailed analyses were also performed on the relationship between OPN and tumor control rate, event-free survival (EFS), and postrelapse survival for the entire group. RESULTS: Using a previously defined cut off point of 450 ng/mL, there was a significant correlation between OPN and freedom-from-relapse (P = .047), overall survival (P = .019), and EFS (P = .023) in the new, independent patient cohort (n = 86). Sequence of event analyses using the entire group (N = 140) revealed that OPN was an independent prognostic factor for initial tumor control, EFS in those who have achieved tumor control, and postrelapse survival. CONCLUSION: In this expanded study, we were able to replicate the prognostic significance of OPN using a predefined cut off point in an independent patient group and demonstrated that plasma OPN is an independent prognostic marker for HNSCC.

    Title Advanced-staged Tonsillar Squamous Carcinoma: Organ Preservation Versus Surgical Management of the Primary Site.
    Date December 2006
    Journal Head & Neck

    BACKGROUND: Our aim was to review our experience in the management of advanced tonsillar squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and to compare treatment outcomes between patients treated with and without surgery to the primary site. METHODS: The records of 74 patients with advanced-stage tonsillar SCC were reviewed. The median age at diagnosis was 58 years. Thirty-eight patients received definitive surgery to the primary site, and 36 were treated with an organ-preservation approach (OP) using radiotherapy +/- chemotherapy. RESULTS: No significant difference in overall survival (OS) or freedom from relapse (FFR) by treatment was found. T classification and N status were significant independent predictors on multivariate analysis for OS and FFR. Major late toxicity was noted in 10 patients in the surgical group and nine in the OP group. CONCLUSION: Patients treated with OP and primary surgery had comparable OS and FFR. T classification and N status were significant independent predictors for tumor relapse and survival. On the basis of these results, we favor organ-preservation therapy for patients with advanced-stage tonsillar SCC.

    Title Phase Ii Trial of Taxol in Salivary Gland Malignancies (e1394): a Trial of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group.
    Date August 2006
    Journal Head & Neck

    BACKGROUND: Malignant tumors of the salivary glands make up approximately 5% of head and neck cancers. The Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) initiated a phase II evaluation of paclitaxel in patients with locally recurrent or metastatic salivary gland malignancies. METHODS: Chemo-naive patients with histologically confirmed recurrent or metastatic carcinoma of salivary gland origin (mucoepidermoid, adenocarcinoma, or adenoid cystic) were eligible. Patients were treated with paclitaxel, 200 mg/m(2) IV, every 21 days for a minimum of four cycles. RESULTS: Forty-five patients were treated. Eight partial responses were seen among the 31 patients with mucoepidermoid or adenocarcinoma histologic findings for a response rate of 26%. No responses were seen in the adenoid cystic carcinoma group. No significant difference in overall survival was found among these three histologic subgroups. CONCLUSION: Paclitaxel demonstrates moderate activity in salivary gland tumors of mucoepidermoid and adenocarcinoma histology. The poor response rate in adenoid cystic carcinoma is consistent with prior reports in this chemoresistant histologic subtype.

    Title Mature Results from a Randomized Phase Ii Trial of Cisplatin Plus 5-fluorouracil and Radiotherapy with or Without Tirapazamine in Patients with Resectable Stage Iv Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinomas.
    Date June 2006
    Journal Cancer

    BACKGROUND: The objective of this article was to report the results from a randomized trial that evaluated the efficacy and toxicity of adding tirapazamine (TPZ) to chemoradiotherapy in the treatment of patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC). METHODS: Sixty-two patients with lymph node-positive, resectable, TNM Stage IV HNSCC were randomized to receive either 2 cycles of induction chemotherapy (TPZ, cisplatin, and 5-fluorouracil [5-FU]) followed by simultaneous chemoradiotherapy (TPZ, cisplatin, and 5-FU) or to receive the same regimen without TPZ. Patients who did not achieve a complete response at 50 Grays underwent surgical treatment. Stratification factors for randomization included tumor site, TNM stage, and median tumor oxygen tension. The primary endpoint was complete lymph node response. RESULTS: The addition of TPZ resulted in increased hematologic toxicity. There was 1 treatment-related death from induction chemotherapy. The complete clinical and pathologic response rate in the lymph nodes was 90% and 74% for the standard treatment arm and the TPZ arm, respectively (P = .08) and 89% and 90% at the primary site in the respective treatment arms (P = .71). The 5-year overall survival rate was 59%, the cause-specific survival rate was 68%, the rate of freedom from recurrence was 69%, and the locoregional control rate was 77% for the entire group. There was no difference with regard to any of the outcome parameters between the 2 treatment arms. The significant long-term toxicity rate also was found to be similar between the 2 arms. CONCLUSIONS: The addition of TPZ increased hematologic toxicity but did not improve outcomes in patients with resectable, Stage IV HNSCC using the protocol administered this small randomized study. The combination of induction and simultaneous chemoradiotherapy resulted in excellent survival in these patients.

    Title Head and Neck Cancers.
    Date September 2005
    Journal Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network : Jnccn
    Title Positron-emission Tomography for Surveillance of Head and Neck Cancer.
    Date May 2005
    Journal The Laryngoscope

    OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS: To determine the diagnostic accuracy and the ideal timing of fluoro-fluorodeoxyglucose positron-emission tomography (PET) in the posttreatment surveillance of head and neck mucosal squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective chart review. METHODS: Our sample includes 103 adult patients with 118 posttreatment PET scans who had undergone treatment for HNSCC. We correlated PET results with surgical pathology and clinical outcome in the subsequent 6 months. RESULTS: For the detection of locoregional persistent or recurrent HNSCC, PET scans had a sensitivity of 82%, specificity of 92%, positive predictive value (PPV) of 64%, negative predictive value (NPV) of 97%, and overall accuracy of 90%. For the detection of distant metastases, PET scans had a sensitivity of 89%, specificity of 97%, PPV of 85%, NPV of 98%, and overall accuracy of 96%. PET scans of the head and neck region performed greater than 1 month after the completion of radiation compared with scans performed within 1 month had a significantly higher sensitivity of 95% versus 55% (P < .01) and NPV of 99% versus 90% (P < .01). CONCLUSION: PET is effective in detecting distant metastases in the posttreatment surveillance for HNSCC patients. A negative PET is highly reliable for all sites. However, a positive PET in the head and neck region is unreliable because of a high false-positivity rate. PET of the head and neck region has a statistically significant risk of a false-negative reading when performed within 1 month of radiation.

    Title Improved Local Control with Stereotactic Radiosurgical Boost in Patients with Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma.
    Date July 2003
    Journal International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics

    PURPOSE: Treatment of nasopharyngeal carcinoma using conventional external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) alone is associated with a significant risk of local recurrence. Stereotactic radiosurgery (STR) was used to boost the tumor site after EBRT to improve local control. METHODS AND MATERIALS: Forty-five nasopharyngeal carcinoma patients received a STR boost after EBRT at Stanford University. Seven had T1, 16 had T2, 4 had T3, and 18 had T4 tumors (1997 American Joint Commission on Cancer staging). Ten had Stage II, 8 had Stage III, and 27 had Stage IV neoplasms. Most patients received 66 Gy of EBRT delivered at 2 Gy/fraction. Thirty-six received concurrent cisplatin-based chemotherapy. STR was delivered to the primary site 4-6 weeks after EBRT in one fraction of 7-15 Gy. RESULTS: At a medium follow-up of 31 months, no local failures had occurred. The 3-year local control rate was 100%, the freedom from distant metastasis rate was 69%, the progression-free survival rate was 71%, and the overall survival rate was 75%. Univariate and multivariate analyses revealed N stage (favoring N0-N1, p = 0.02, hazard ratio HR 4.2) and World Health Organization histologic type (favoring type III, p = 0.002, HR 13) as significant factors for freedom from distant metastasis. World Health Organization histologic type (p = 0.004, HR 10.5) and age (p = 0.01, HR 1.07/y) were significant factors for survival. Late toxicity included transient cranial nerve weakness in 4, radiation-related retinopathy in 1, and asymptomatic temporal lobe necrosis in 3 patients who originally had intracranial tumor extension. CONCLUSION: STR boost after EBRT provided excellent local control in nasopharyngeal carcinoma patients. The incidence of late toxicity was acceptable. More effective systemic treatment is needed to achieve improved survival.

    Title Identification of Osteopontin As a Prognostic Plasma Marker for Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinomas.
    Date July 2003
    Journal Clinical Cancer Research : an Official Journal of the American Association for Cancer Research

    PURPOSE: Tumor hypoxia modifies treatment efficacy and promotes tumor progression. Here, we investigated the relationship between osteopontin (OPN), tumor pO(2), and prognosis in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC). EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: We performed linear discriminant analysis, a machine learning algorithm, on the NCI-60 cancer cell line microarray expression database to identify a gene profile that best distinguish cell lines with high Von-Hippel Lindau (VHL) gene expression, an important regulator of hypoxia-related genes, from those with low expression. Plasma OPN levels in 15 volunteers, 31 VHL patients, and 54 HNSCC patients were quantitatively measured by ELISA. The relationships between plasma OPN levels, tumor pO(2) as measured by the Eppendorf microelectrode, freedom from relapse (FFR), and survival in HNSCC patients were evaluated. RESULTS: Microarray analysis indicated that OPN gene expression inversely correlated with that of VHL. These findings were confirmed by Northern blot analysis. ELISA studies and Western blot in a HNSCC cell line demonstrated that hypoxia exposure resulted in increased OPN secretion. Patients with VHL syndrome had significantly higher plasma OPN levels than healthy volunteers. Plasma OPN level inversely correlated with tumor pO(2) (P = 0.003, r = -0.42). OPN levels correlated with clinical outcomes. The 1-year FFR and survival rates were 80 and 100%, respectively, for patients with OPN levels <or=450 ng/ml and 43 and 63%, respectively, for levels >450 ng/ml (P = 0.002 and 0.0005). Multivariate analysis revealed that OPN was an independent predictor for FFR and survival. CONCLUSIONS: Plasma OPN levels appeared to correlate with tumor hypoxia in HNSCC patients and may serve as noninvasive tests to identify patients at high risk for tumor recurrence.

    Title Comparison of the Comet Assay and the Oxygen Microelectrode for Measuring Tumor Oxygenation in Head-and-neck Cancer Patients.
    Date June 2003
    Journal International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics

    PURPOSE: To compare the Eppendorf PO2 histograph and the alkaline comet assay as methods of measuring tumor hypoxia in patients with head-and-neck squamous cell carcinomas. MATERIALS AND METHODS: As part of a larger clinical trial, 65 patients with head-and-neck squamous cell carcinoma nodal metastasis underwent tumor oxygenation measurements with Eppendorf PO2 histographs and comet assays, performed on fine-needle aspirates at 1 and 2 min after 5 Gy. Fifty-four patients had sufficient tumor cells for comet analysis at 1 min and 26 at both 1 and 2 min. Individual cells were examined for DNA single-strand breaks by alkaline gel electrophoresis, and the distribution of values was quantified using median tail moment (MTM). Nonirradiated tumor cells from pretreatment fine-needle aspirates received 5 Gy in vitro to establish the oxygenated response. RESULTS: There was a significant correlation between the 1- and 2-min MTM (slope = 0.77 +/- 0.03). There was no relationship between DNA damage in tumor cells irradiated in vitro and in vivo. No correlation was found between Eppendorf PO2 measurements and comet MTM. There was a statistically significant correlation between the treatment response in the node studied and comet MTMs, whereas no correlation was observed between treatment response and Eppendorf measurements. CONCLUSIONS: Comet assays are reproducible, as shown by biopsies at 1 and 2 min. Intertumor variation in the MTM is not a result of intrinsic radiosensitivity but of tumor hypoxia. There was no correlation between Eppendorf PO2 measurements and comet MTM. Comet assays were better than Eppendorf in predicting treatment response as an end point for short-term outcome. Longer follow-up is needed to determine the role of the comet assay as a predictor for locoregional tumor control and survivals.

    Title Estimating Dna Repair by Sequential Evaluation of Head and Neck Tumor Radiation Sensitivity Using the Comet Assay.
    Date July 2002
    Journal Archives of Otolaryngology--head & Neck Surgery

    BACKGROUND: The alkaline comet assay is a microelectrophoretic technique for detecting single-strand DNA breaks, and may be used as an indirect measure of hypoxia by determining the radiation sensitivity of individual cells. OBJECTIVE: To assess the ability of the comet assay to estimate the rate of DNA repair after irradiation in patients with head and neck cancer. METHODS: The comet assay was used to evaluate DNA damage in fine-needle aspirates of lymph nodes containing metastatic squamous cell carcinoma in patients with head and neck cancer 1, 2, and 3 minutes after treatment with 500 rad (5 Gy) of irradiation. The amount of DNA damage (measured as the "tail moment" of the comet) is proportional to the number of DNA single-strand breaks after irradiation, which in turn depends on the oxygen concentration in each cell. RESULTS: The mean +/- SD of the median tail moment of the 1-minute postirradiation comets was 29.4 +/- 14.2 (n = 27). After 2 minutes, the mean median tail moment decreased to 25.4 +/- 13.6 (n = 25), representing a mean decrease of 11.9% in those patients with both 1- and 2-minute comet assays. Assuming a linear rate of repair, this decrease in DNA damage corresponds to a repair half-life of 4.2 minutes. A 3-minute assay was also performed on samples from a smaller number of patients (n = 9), with a mean value not significantly different from that of the 2-minute assay of the samples from this group. CONCLUSIONS: The comet assay is a promising tool for evaluating radiation sensitivity in individual cells. The rate of DNA repair early after irradiation is consistent with data in the literature.

    Title Physician Perspectives on Increasing Minorities in Cancer Clinical Trials: an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ecog) Initiative.
    Date August 2001
    Journal Annals of Epidemiology

    PURPOSE: This paper describes the ECOG-NMA Minority Accrual Initiative to assure minority participation in cancer clinical trials. METHODS: Focus groups were held to identify physician-reported barriers to the enrollment of minority patients in Cleveland, OH, Indianapolis, IN, Santa Clara County, CA, and Philadelphia, PA. Community physicians affiliated with the National Medical Association (NMA), and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) investigators participated in the focus groups. A four-step process consisting of focus group workshops were conducted to (i) identify barriers, (ii) develop potential solutions to the barriers, (iii) define solutions to barriers involving specific clinical trials, and (iv) implement the solutions. RESULTS: Focus group participants identified physician lack of information, patient fears and suspicion, the fear of losing patients, and distrust of the health care system as the major barriers to enrollment of African Americans. We found significant differences between community physicians and cancer program physicians in several areas. Community physicians emphasized personal contacts to address the lack of information and to overcome patient fears and suspicions, while the cancer program physicians emphasized printed materials. There was no difference by region in the barriers identified in the focus group workshops; however, the proposed solutions to overcoming the barriers were specific to each site. CONCLUSION: The four-step process developed by the ECOG and the NMA used the focus group methodology to identify and overcome barriers to participation of African Americans in cancer clinical trials. Outreach efforts to educate patients, their families, and community physicians about cancer clinical trials should be directed at overcoming patient suspicions and providing practical information to physicians about specific trials and how to enroll patients.

    Title Dna Damage Measured by the Comet Assay in Head and Neck Cancer Patients Treated with Tirapazamine.
    Date September 2000
    Journal Neoplasia (new York, N.y.)

    Tirapazamine (TPZ) [3-amino-1,2,4-benzotriazine 1,4-dioxide, SR4233, WIN 59075, and Tirazone] is a novel anticancer drug that is selectively activated by the low oxygen environment in solid tumors. By killing the radioresistant hypoxic cells, TPZ potentiates the antitumor efficacy of fractionated irradiation of transplanted tumors in mice. As this cell kill is closely correlated with TPZ-induced DNA damage, we investigated whether human head and neck cancers would show DNA damage similar to that seen in mouse tumors following TPZ administration. TPZ-induced DNA damage in both transplanted tumors in mice and in neck nodes of 13 patients with head and neck cancer was assessed using the alkaline comet assay on cells obtained from fine-needle aspirates. The oxygen levels of the patients' tumors were also measured using a polarographic oxygen electrode. Cells from the patients' tumors showed DNA damage immediately following TPZ administration that was comparable to, or greater than, that seen with transplanted mouse tumors. The heterogeneity of DNA damage in the patients' tumors was greater than that of individual mouse tumors and correlated with tumor hypoxia. The similarity of TPZ-induced DNA damage in human and rodent tumors suggests that tirapazamine should be effective when added to radiotherapy or to cisplatin-based chemotherapy in head and neck cancers.

    Title In Vivo 1h Mr Spectroscopy of Human Head and Neck Lymph Node Metastasis and Comparison with Oxygen Tension Measurements.
    Date February 2000
    Journal Ajnr. American Journal of Neuroradiology

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Current diagnostic methods for head and neck metastasis are limited for monitoring recurrence and assessing oxygenation. 1H MR spectroscopy (1H MRS) provides a noninvasive means of determining the chemical composition of tissue and thus has a unique potential as a method for localizing and characterizing cancer. The purposes of this investigation were to measure 1H spectral intensities of total choline (Cho), creatine (Cr), and lactate (Lac) in vivo in human lymph node metastases of head and neck cancer for comparison with normal muscle tissue and to examine relationships between metabolite signal intensities and tissue oxygenation status. METHODS: Volume-localized Lac-edited MRS at 1.5 T was performed in vivo on the lymph node metastases of 14 patients whose conditions were untreated and who had primary occurrences of squamous cell carcinoma. MRS measurements were acquired also from the neck muscle tissue of six healthy volunteers and a subset of the patients. Peak areas of Cho, Cr, and Lac were calculated. Tissue oxygenation (pO2) within the abnormal lymph nodes was measured independently using an Eppendorf polarographic oxygen electrode. RESULTS: Cho:Cr ratios were significantly higher in the nodes than in muscle tissue (node Cho:Cr = 2.9 +/- 1.6, muscle Cho:Cr = 0.55 +/- 0.21, P = .0006). Lac was significantly higher in cancer tissue than in muscle (P = .01) and, in the nodes, showed a moderately negative correlation with median pO2 (r = -.76) over a range of approximately 0 to 30 mm Hg. Nodes with oxygenation values less than 10 mm Hg had approximately twice the Lac signal intensity as did nodes with oxygenation values greater than 10 mm Hg (P = .01). Cho signal intensity was not well correlated with pO2 (r = -.46) but seemed to decrease at higher oxygenation levels (>20 mm Hg). CONCLUSION: 1H MRS may be useful for differentiating metastatic head and neck cancer from normal muscular tissue and may allow for the possibility of assessing oxygenation. Potential clinical applications include the staging and monitoring of treatment.

    Title Tissue Oxygen Distribution in Head and Neck Cancer Patients.
    Date April 1999
    Journal Head & Neck

    BACKGROUND: The importance of hypoxia in limiting the sensitivity of tumor cells to ionizing radiation has long been known. METHODS: We evaluated the tissue oxygenation status with a polarographic needle electrode system in 37 patients with malignancies of the head and neck and correlated the pO2 of 25 patients with treatment outcome. RESULTS: Sixteen tumors contained areas of severe hypoxia, defined by pO2 values below 2.5 mm Hg. Tumor oxygenation parameters were not correlated with hemoglobin, age, and history of tobacco use. There were no subcutaneous PO2 values below 10 mm Hg (ie, no areas of moderate or severe hypoxia), whereas this degree of hypoxia was commonly found in the tumors. Though not statistically significant, hypoxic tumors showed trends for poorer treatment outcome. CONCLUSION: Our data demonstrate a great interindividual variability in the oxygenation of head and neck cancers and appears unassociated with clinical parameters. The method is capable of identifying patients with poorly oxygenated tumors, thereby providing important information for selecting patients who might need customized therapy designed to kill hypoxic tumor cells. Hypoxic tumors show a consistent trend for poor treatment outcome.

    Title Management of the Clinically Positive Neck in Organ Preservation for Advanced Head and Neck Cancer.
    Date January 1999
    Journal American Journal of Surgery

    BACKGROUND: To investigate clinicopathologic predictive criteria for the optimal management of neck metastases in patients with advanced head and neck cancers treated with combined chemoradiotherapy. METHODS: Prospective study, 48 patients. Mean length follow-up, 23 months. RESULTS: Neck stage predicted neck response to chemoradiotherapy; N3 necks showed more partial responses (P = 0.04), and N1 necks showed more complete responses (P = 0.12). Primary tumor site strongly predicted the pathologic response found on neck dissection in patients with a clinical partial response (cPR) following chemoradiotherapy. There was no difference in survival between patients with a clinical complete response (cCR) after chemoradiotherapy, and patients with a pathologic complete response (pCR) after neck dissection (P = 0.20); however, when grouped together, these patients survived longer than did patients with a pPR at neck dissection (P = 0.06). CONCLUSIONS: Clinical response to induction chemotherapy is a poor predictor of ultimate neck control. Induction chemotherapy followed by chemoradiotherapy, and planned neck dissection for patients with persistent cervical lymphadenopathy, provides good regional control.

    Title Surgical Morbidity of Neck Dissection After Chemoradiotherapy in Advanced Head and Neck Cancer.
    Date March 1997
    Journal The Annals of Otology, Rhinology, and Laryngology

    The use of chemotherapy and irradiation for organ preservation attempts to eliminate the need for extensive surgery in patients with advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN). We sought to characterize the morbidity of surgery in patients who needed surgery after treatment with induction chemotherapy followed by simultaneous chemotherapy and radiotherapy (chemoradiotherapy). The surgical morbidity within the first 30 postoperative days of 17 patients treated in an organ preservation approach between July 1991 and December 1994 was compared with a control group of patients undergoing similar surgical procedures during the same period. The organ preservation study patients underwent surgical procedures consisting of 18 neck dissections and 5 resections of the primary site. Six patients in the organ preservation study group experienced 8 surgical complications within the first 30 postoperative days, and most complications were minor. There was no significant difference in the duration of surgery or length of hospitalization between study patients and matched controls. Our surgical complication rate (35.3%) was higher but not statistically different from that of the control group, and compared favorably to reports of surgical morbidity (44% to 61%) in the literature on patients treated with chemoradiotherapy. The lower complication rate seen in this study may be a reflection of early surgical intervention as part of our organ preservation study scheme, the preponderance of neck dissections performed, and the limited number of pharyngeal procedures performed.

    Title Distant Metastases from Head and Neck Squamous Cancer: the Role of Adjuvant Chemotherapy.
    Date July 1995
    Journal Cancer Treatment and Research
    Title Participation in Clinical Trials: is It State-of-the-art Treatment for African Americans and Other People of Color?
    Date June 1994
    Journal Journal of the National Medical Association

    We have attempted to initiate a much needed constructive dialogue regarding the participation of African-American patients in clinical cancer research trials. It was our intent to provide a greater understanding of the historical context and evolving nature of clinical research trials pertaining to cancer. Some of the same challenges hold true for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)-related clinical research. Physicians interested in becoming a member of SOCRATES should contact Dr Roach at the University of California San Francisco.

    Title Head and Neck Cancer with an Occult Primary Tumor.
    Date January 1992
    Journal The New England Journal of Medicine
    Title Chemotherapy for Recurrent and Metastatic Head and Neck Cancer.
    Date October 1991
    Journal Hematology/oncology Clinics of North America

    At the present time, the treatment of recurrent and metastatic head and neck squamous and salivary gland cancers with chemotherapy is palliative. Pain relief, improvement in functional parameters, and improved survival are important goals. Although survival benefits are small, palliation can be significant. For squamous cancers, the median duration of response to chemotherapy is 2 to 4 months, and overall survival is about 6 months. Responses can be achieved with acceptable toxicity for good palliation in approximately 30% of patients treated with the standard regimens. Although more intensive chemotherapy regimens often result in higher response rates in pilot trials, they do not offer significant gains in effectiveness or survival. In salivary gland malignancies, results are substantially better, but this may only reflect the different natural history of this heterogeneous group of tumors. A small number of patients will have excellent and very durable responses to chemotherapy. Unfortunately, at this time we are unable to select these patients or determine which regimen will produce this desired result. The optimal use of currently available drugs is in the process of refinement. The timing of palliative chemotherapy represents a major challenge to oncologists and patients. Chemotherapy may in the future have a role in the cure of patients with recurrent disease, but innovative therapy, combined modality approaches, and new drug development will all need to be investigated. We look forward toward a new understanding of tumor biology and the development of agents that may substantially improve the control of these tumors.

    Title Lymphomas and Leukemias in the Relatives of Patients with Mycosis Fungoides.
    Date April 1982
    Journal Cancer

    Of 526 consecutive patients with cutaneous T-cell lymphomas, 21 had first-degree relatives with lymphoproliferative or hematopoietic malignancies. Twenty-nine such tumors occurred in the 21 kindreds. Hodgkin's disease accounted for one-third of this total, with various leukemias (11 cases), non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (five cases), and multiple myeloma (three cases) comprising the remainder. These data suggest that genetically-determined immunoregulatory abnormalities may represent a shared pathway of oncogenesis in diverse lymphoproliferative and hematopoietic malignancies.

    Title Head and Neck Cancers.
    Journal Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network : Jnccn

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