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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 199-203

Immunotherapy and its advances in the management of head-and-neck cancer

Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Yenepoya Dental College, Yenepoya (Deemed to be University), Mangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Sajad Ahmad Buch
Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Yenepoya Dental College, Yenepoya (Deemed to be University), Deralakatte, Mangalore - 575 018, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/cjhr.cjhr_155_18

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Head-and-neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) consists of biologically aggressive tumors of a heterogeneous group. Despite the advances made in the surgical and radiological treatment methods for HNSCC, the limitations in the control of the disease and the treatment-associated toxicity have kept the 5-year overall survival at a dismal rate. The multifactorial methods used for the treatment of HNSCC bring their deleterious effects on patient's quality of life due to lasting xerostomia, sensorineural hearing loss, and diminished swallowing function. The inadequate improvement in the survival rate and associated side effects with the existing treatments have shifted the attention in HNSCC research toward the finding of less toxic and more effective treatments. The outstanding improvements in the survival outcomes of certain advanced cancers treated with immunotherapy have encouraged extensive interest in the field. Cancer surveillance is maintained by a competent immune system, and hence, activation of immune system is included as an overall goal against the cancer. This review explores recent advances in the treatment of HNSCC focusing on immunotherapy describing briefly the developing areas of immunotherapy research, challenges, and future actions for the comprehensive application of immunotherapy in HNSCC.

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