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      Background and Current Treatment of Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Anus

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          Abstract

          In this review, a summary of our current understanding of squamous cell carcinoma of the anus (SCCA) and the advances in our knowledge of SCCA regarding screening, prevention, the role of the immune system, current treatment and the potential for novel targets are discussed. The present standard of care in terms of treatment is 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and mitomycin C (MMC) concurrently with radiation, which results in a high level of disease control for small early cancers. Preservation of the anal sphincter is achieved in the majority, although anorectal function is often impaired. Although evidence from prospective studies to support a change in the treatment strategy is lacking, patients with HPV-negative SCCA appear to be less responsive to chemoradiation (CRT) and relapse more frequently. In contrast, HPV-positive tumours usually fare better, but oncological outcomes are modified by smoking and immune incompetence. There is current interest in escalating the radiotherapy dose for larger, more advanced tumours, and de-escalating treatment for HPV-positive tumours. The use of novel immunological treatments to target the underlying different molecular pathways of HPV-positive cancers is exciting.

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          Most cited references 142

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          Cancer statistics, 2011: the impact of eliminating socioeconomic and racial disparities on premature cancer deaths.

          Each year, the American Cancer Society estimates the numbers of new cancer cases and deaths expected in the United States in the current year and compiles the most recent data on cancer incidence, mortality, and survival based on incidence data from the National Cancer Institute, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries and mortality data from the National Center for Health Statistics. A total of 1,596,670 new cancer cases and 571,950 deaths from cancer are projected to occur in the United States in 2011. Overall cancer incidence rates were stable in men in the most recent time period after decreasing by 1.9% per year from 2001 to 2005; in women, incidence rates have been declining by 0.6% annually since 1998. Overall cancer death rates decreased in all racial/ethnic groups in both men and women from 1998 through 2007, with the exception of American Indian/Alaska Native women, in whom rates were stable. African American and Hispanic men showed the largest annual decreases in cancer death rates during this time period (2.6% and 2.5%, respectively). Lung cancer death rates showed a significant decline in women after continuously increasing since the 1930s. The reduction in the overall cancer death rates since 1990 in men and 1991 in women translates to the avoidance of about 898,000 deaths from cancer. However, this progress has not benefitted all segments of the population equally; cancer death rates for individuals with the least education are more than twice those of the most educated. The elimination of educational and racial disparities could potentially have avoided about 37% (60,370) of the premature cancer deaths among individuals aged 25 to 64 years in 2007 alone. Further progress can be accelerated by applying existing cancer control knowledge across all segments of the population with an emphasis on those groups in the lowest socioeconomic bracket. CA Cancer J Clin 2011. © 2011 American Cancer Society.
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            Radiotherapy plus cetuximab for squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck.

            We conducted a multinational, randomized study to compare radiotherapy alone with radiotherapy plus cetuximab, a monoclonal antibody against the epidermal growth factor receptor, in the treatment of locoregionally advanced squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck. Patients with locoregionally advanced head and neck cancer were randomly assigned to treatment with high-dose radiotherapy alone (213 patients) or high-dose radiotherapy plus weekly cetuximab (211 patients) at an initial dose of 400 mg per square meter of body-surface area, followed by 250 mg per square meter weekly for the duration of radiotherapy. The primary end point was the duration of control of locoregional disease; secondary end points were overall survival, progression-free survival, the response rate, and safety. The median duration of locoregional control was 24.4 months among patients treated with cetuximab plus radiotherapy and 14.9 months among those given radiotherapy alone (hazard ratio for locoregional progression or death, 0.68; P=0.005). With a median follow-up of 54.0 months, the median duration of overall survival was 49.0 months among patients treated with combined therapy and 29.3 months among those treated with radiotherapy alone (hazard ratio for death, 0.74; P=0.03). Radiotherapy plus cetuximab significantly prolonged progression-free survival (hazard ratio for disease progression or death, 0.70; P=0.006). With the exception of acneiform rash and infusion reactions, the incidence of grade 3 or greater toxic effects, including mucositis, did not differ significantly between the two groups. Treatment of locoregionally advanced head and neck cancer with concomitant high-dose radiotherapy plus cetuximab improves locoregional control and reduces mortality without increasing the common toxic effects associated with radiotherapy to the head and neck. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00004227.) Copyright 2006 Massachusetts Medical Society.
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              Immunologic correlates of the abscopal effect in a patient with melanoma.

              The abscopal effect is a phenomenon in which local radiotherapy is associated with the regression of metastatic cancer at a distance from the irradiated site. The abscopal effect may be mediated by activation of the immune system. Ipilimumab is a monoclonal antibody that inhibits an immunologic checkpoint on T cells, cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 (CTLA-4). We report a case of the abscopal effect in a patient with melanoma treated with ipilimumab and radiotherapy. Temporal associations were noted: tumor shrinkage with antibody responses to the cancer-testis antigen NY-ESO-1, changes in peripheral-blood immune cells, and increases in antibody responses to other antigens after radiotherapy. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and others.).
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                Author and article information

                Affiliations
                Centre for Cancer Treatment, Mount Vernon Hospital, Northwood, Middlesex UK
                Contributors
                rob.glynnejones@nhs.net
                Journal
                Oncol Ther
                Oncol Ther
                Oncology and Therapy
                Springer Healthcare (Cheshire )
                2366-1070
                2366-1089
                1 August 2016
                1 August 2016
                2016
                : 4
                : 2
                : 135-172
                5315080 24 10.1007/s40487-016-0024-0
                © The Author(s) 2016
                Categories
                Review
                Custom metadata
                © Springer Healthcare 2016

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