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Volume 4 | Spring 2018
A Message from our Directors:
One of the goals of our translational research program is to bring immunotherapy into the treatment of head and neck cancer earlier. We want to harness the power of the immune system before the cancer has had a chance to spread, while patients are still in the “curable” setting. Toward that end, Providence Cancer Institute has a large slate of immunotherapy trials that are open for oral, head and neck cancer patients at all stages of disease, including at the time of diagnosis. More than a dozen of these studies are phase 1 combination immunotherapy trials. We’re highlighting several studies in this issue, including:

  • A Providence-initiated immunoradiotherapy study for newly diagnosed patients

  • A study of adoptive T-cell transfer therapy for head and neck cancer patients, an area of research that Providence is expanding with the addition of Eric Tran, Ph.D., who joined us from the National Cancer Institute lab that pioneered the technique

Read more about our recent research in the 2016  Earle A. Chiles Research Institute Annual Report (pages 42-43) and below.
Drs. R. Bryan Bell
and Rom Leidner
Head and Neck Clinical Trials
Providence immunoradiotherapy study aims to improve outcomes for patients with newly diagnosed head and neck cancers
In a groundbreaking clinical trial for newly diagnosed head and neck cancer patients, Providence scientists are employing condensed radiotherapy, immunotherapy and minimally invasive surgery aimed at reducing distant metastasis, decreasing the duration of radiation therapy and eliminating the need for chemotherapy. Read more.
Adoptive T-cell transfer study opens for head and neck cancer patients
Providence Cancer Institute is one of only six centers in the United States offering a clinical trial of adoptive T-cell transfer therapy to patients with recurrent/metastatic head and neck cancers. In this promising investigational therapy, tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) are extracted from a patient’s own tumor, multiplied in a lab, and then returned to the patient to increase the immune system’s cancer-fighting power. Read more.
Providence study assesses early intervention for trismus
For patients with trismus related to oral, head and neck cancers, early intervention may help ease jaw limitations. That’s the hope of a new study initiated by Amber Watters, FSCD, DDS, MPH , Director of Providence Oral Oncology and Oral Medicine. Patients in the study use a manual rehabilitation device called OraStretch to help open the jaw, stretch the oro-facial tissues and mobilize the TMJ. New patients are welcome to enroll. View study details.
Anti-OX40 enhances immunity in some head and neck cancer patients
Anti-OX40, a novel immunotherapy engineered by researchers at Providence Cancer Institute, continues to show promise as a potentially powerful way to treat cancer. Read more.
Transoral robotic surgery yields benefits for Providence throat cancer patients
A recent assessment of the first 170 throat-cancer patients treated with transoral robotic surgery and risk-adapted adjuvant therapy at Providence Cancer Institute offers compelling evidence in favor of this new treatment approach.  Read more.
Providence launches unique Surgical Immuno-Oncology Fellowship
As national leaders in immuno-oncology, Providence Cancer institute has launched a new fellowship to train the next generation of surgeon-scientists in the development of novel methods of boosting anti-tumor immunity. The Surgical Immuno-Oncology Fellowship is the first of its kind outside of the surgery branch of the National Cancer Institute. Providence welcomes its first fellow in July from the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. Applications are being accepted now for 2019.  Read more.
Marcus Couey, MD, DDS
Surgical Immuno-Oncology Fellow
June 15-16: New Horizons in Immunotherapy for Head and Neck Cancers
Join us in Pittsburgh, Penn., for this annual conference designed for leaders in head and neck cancer. R. Bryan Bell, M.D., DDS, FACS , director of the Providence Head and Neck Cancer Program, founded the conference and co-directs it along with Robert Ferris, M.D., Ph.D., and Ezra Cohen, M.D. For registration and course information, click here.
New textbook covers multidisciplinary care for head and neck cancers 
R. Bryan Bell, M.D., DDS, FACS , shares his extensive experience, along with contributions from many members of the Providence Head and Neck Cancer Program, in the new textbook, Oral, Head and Neck Oncology and Reconstructive Surgery . The book covers computer-aided surgical simulation, intraoperative navigation, robotic surgery, endoscopic surgery, microvascular reconstructive surgery, molecular science and tumor immunology in the management and treatment of a wide variety of conditions.  Read more.
Providence Head and Neck Cancer Program
Phone: 503-215-3053
Fax: 503-215-3037