Monthly Oncology Tumor Boards: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Individualized Patient Care - HPV and Head & Neck Cancer

June 22, 2015

Join Barbara Burtness, MD and Zain Husain, MD as they present their multidisciplinary expertise on a range of cases pertaining to human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and head and neck (H&N) cancer.

HPV infection is a risk factor for the development of squamous cancers of the oropharynx, particularly cancers of the lingual and palatine tonsils, and base of the tongue. The overall incidence of HPV positive H&N cancers is increasing in the United States, while the incidence of HPV negative (primarily tobacco  and alcohol related) cancer is decreasing. It has not yet been shown whether HPV vaccination will decrease the incidence of HPV positive oropharyngeal cancer, although this appears to be a promising approach. Tumor HPV testing is recommended for cancers of the oropharynx, because prior HPV infection is related to the development of many oropharyngeal cancers. Recent data suggest that HPV-positive and HPV-negative H&N squamous cell carcinomas have different genetic alterations. New targeted and immune therapy options may be available in the future. Data are rapidly evolving in the area of HPV-associated H&N cancer, and clinicians need to be aware of the most recent recommendations to provide the best management for their patients with H&N cancer.

The NCCN Guidelines are a set of evidence-based, consensus-driven recommendations that ensure that patients receive preventive, diagnostic treatment, and care that is most likely to lead to optimal outcomes. The NCCN recommendations are applicable to about 95% of patients. Clinicians need to consider the current clinical status of the patient---including general health, disease specifics, concomitant conditions, and current and previous therapies---when deciding how to apply appropriate standard of care.  This activity series will discuss the specific recommendations in the NCCN Guidelines as well as unique patient circumstances that impact how the NCCN Guidelines might be best applied.

Target Audience

This educational program is designed to meet the educational needs of oncologists, pathologists, nurses, pharmacists, and other health care professionals who manage patients with cancer.

Learning Objectives

Following this activity, participants should be able to:

  • Describe current treatment options for patients with squamous cancers of the oropharynx
  • Examine the recent evidence about the role of human papillomavirus (HPV) in head and neck cancer
Additional information

This activity is supported by educational grants from:

  • BTG
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • Celgene Corporation
  • Genomic Health, Inc.
  • Lilly
  • Merck
  • Novartis Oncology
  • Prometheus Laboratories, Inc.
  • Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

This activity is supported by a grant from AstraZeneca.

Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 Participation
  • 1.00 Nurse
  • 1.00 Pharmacist
  • 1.00 Physician
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Event starts: 
06/22/2015 - 1:30pm EDT
Event ends: 
06/22/2015 - 2:30pm EDT

Barbara Burtness, MD
Yale Cancer Center/Smilow Cancer Hospital

Zain Husain, MD
Yale Cancer Center/Smilow Cancer Hospital

This activity is approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Nursing and pharmacy (ACPE) credits are also provided. View complete accreditation information

Available Credit

  • 1.00 Participation
  • 1.00 Nurse
  • 1.00 Pharmacist
  • 1.00 Physician


Please login or register to take this course.

Required Hardware/software

To complete this activity, users will need:

  • A device with an Internet connection and sound playback capability
  • Adobe Reader or other PDF reader software for certificate viewing/printing