This month's Cancer News Review podcast with Kimmel Cancer Center director Bill Nelson begins with updates on the field of head and neck cancer in light of the encouraging news that actor Michael Douglas' cancer is in remission. Nelson says that there is an emerging story in oropharyngeal cancers (those that are in the back of the throat, tongue, soft palate and tonsils). An increasing number of these cancers are associated with certain strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), the same virus that causes cervical cancer. Patients with HPV-associated head and neck cancers fare better than patients whose cancers are causes by alcohol or tobacco use. He says the molecular details of why this infection causes cancers and why these patients fare better is still not understood.
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