Oral and Oropharyngeal Cancer: Latest Research

This section has been reviewed and approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 11/2013

ON THIS PAGE: You will read about the scientific research being done now to learn more about oral and oropharyngeal cancer and how to treat them. To see other pages, use the menu on the side of your screen.

Doctors are working to learn more about oral and oropharyngeal cancer, ways to prevent them, how to best treat them, and how to provide the best care to people diagnosed with these diseases. The following areas of research may include new options for patients through clinical trials. Always talk with your doctor about the diagnostic and treatment options best for you.

New treatments. Many new treatments have become available as a result of improvement in the knowledge of the biology of cancer. Some of these treatments, including biologic therapy and targeted therapy, are available through clinical trials. Therapies being researched include tyrosine kinase inhibitors, antiangiogenic therapy (which prevents blood vessel formation that is needed for tumor growth), immune modulating approaches, and agents that trigger cancer cell death. These and other treatment approaches are in various stages of research.

Radiofrequency thermal ablation (RFA). RFA uses heat to destroy cancer cells. It is a minimally invasive treatment option that may be useful for localized tumors that cannot be removed with surgery.

Supportive care. Clinical trials are underway to find better methods of reducing the symptoms and side effects of current oral and oropharyngeal treatments to improve patients’ comfort and quality of life.

To find clinical trials specific to your diagnosis, talk with your doctor or search online clinical trial databases now.

The next section addresses how to cope with the symptoms of the disease or the side effects of its treatment. Use the menu on the side of your screen to select Coping with Side Effects, or you can select another section, to continue reading this guide.