Head & Neck Cancer: Biomarkers Predict Radiation Resistance

Jan Akervall, M.D., Ph.D. Co-director, Head and Neck Cancer Multidisciplinary Clinic Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak Clinical Director of Beaumont’s BioBankMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Jan Akervall, M.D., Ph.D.
Co-director, Head and Neck Cancer Multidisciplinary Clinic
Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak
Clinical Director of Beaumont’s BioBank
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Akervall: We identified biomarkers that can predict who will have an unfavorable response from radiation for head and neck cancer. These can be analyzed using standard laboratory techniques on biopsies that routinely are taken for diagnosis.

MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Akervall: Yes, the two strongest biomarkers for poor response to radiation have not previously been shown to have that strong predictive power.

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Akervall: Personalized medicine based on biomarkers analyzed in tissue or blood is the future. The era of standardized, protocol based therapies that only rely on crude tumor staging is coming to an end.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Akervall: Incorporate biomarkers in any future clinical cancer study, and use archived material from past clinical studies to verify findings like these.

Citation:

Jan Akervall, Sirisha Nandalur, Jacob Zhang, Chao-Nan Qian, Neal Goldstein, Paulina Gyllerup, Ylva Gardinger, Jens Alm, Katarina Lorenc, Karolina Nilsson, James Resau, George Wilson, Bin Teh. A novel panel of biomarkers predicts radioresistance in patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. European Journal of Cancer, 2014; 50 (3): 570 DOI: 10.1016/j.ejca.2013.11.007