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Michigan Oncology Journal Summer, 2001
Advancements in Clinical and Basic Science Research from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center
EditorLaurence H. Baker, D.O.
Deputy Director and
Director for Clinical Research
U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center
Assistant EditorMaria McKinney White
Marketing and Public Relations
From the EditorCarcinomas of the head and neck continue to vex us. Despite dramatic advances in surgical and non-surgical treatment options, the cure rate has remained unchanged over the past 30 years. The Head and Neck Oncology Program at the University of Michigan Cancer Center brings together the disciplines of surgery, medical oncology and radiation oncology to collaborate on innovative approaches to improve the quality and quantity of these patients' lives.
In the lead article of this issue of Michigan Oncology Journal, Theodoros Teknos, M.D., Department of Otorhinolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, discusses tumor vascularity as a prognostic indicator in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. He reports on studies in his laboratory looking at the characteristics of advanced laryngeal squamous cell carcinomas with a high level of vascularity. Dr. Teknos also reviews the promising anti-angiogenesis strategy of copper suppression.
Drs. Frank Worden and Susan Urba, Department of Internal Medicine/Hematology and Oncology, review the controversies surrounding organ preservation therapy for head and neck cancer patients. They also outline current U-M studies that are combining chemotherapy and radiotherapy in an effort to achieve local-regional disease control in patients with resectable cancers of the oral cavity and oropharynx. In his article, Avraham Eisbruch, M.D., explains how strategies, such as changing the radiation fractionation schemes and adding chemotherapy or radiosensitizers to radiation treatment, are being used in an effort to improve the efficacy of radiation treatment for head and neck cancer. He also discusses a new U-M trial that is open for accrual using gemcitabine for non-resectable head and neck cancer.
Douglas B. Chepeha, M.D., M.S.P.H, F.R.C.S.(C), describes efforts by his group to improve the outlook for patients with metastasized squamous cell carcinoma of the upper aerodi-gestive tract. The team is following a prospective cohort of patients who are at high risk. In this article, Dr. Chepeha reviews efforts to improve diagnosis through the use of lymphatic mapping; tailor treatment by looking at selective vs. modified radical neck dissection; and advance the understanding of the biology of metastasis through molecular modeling.
Laurence H. Baker, D.O.