Editor-in-Chief Emeritus Pick of Papers
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For each issue of Radiotherapy and Oncology, the Editor-in-Chief Emeritus Jens Overgaard, picks his favourite papers.
- Worldwide, approximately 710,000 patients are diagnosed annually with head and neck cancer (HNC) [1,2].
- Surgery or radiotherapy (RT), and in more advanced tumours a combination of the two modalities, is the standard approach for the curatively intended treatment of oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma (OCSCC). A long-standing controversy has been the order of sequence for surgery and RT; pre- or postoperative RT as to whether there is any advantage of this order in relation to tumour control, survival, toxicity, and functional outcome. There is a lack of randomised trials to settle this question. An early RTOG study  found an improvement in local control for postoperative compared with preoperative RT in patients with locally advanced head and neck SCC, but no differences in overall survival (OS) or morbidity.
- Cancer imaging features used to inform medical decisions are generated by experienced radiologists, often involving qualitative and experiential interpretation [1,2]. However, utilization of quantified patient imaging data for pattern recognition has recently increased. Radiomics involves the automated extraction of imaging features for use in multivariate predictions models and has demonstrated promise in defining predictive and prognostic factors  for disease relapse and mortality after treatment [4–7], and biological correlates [8,9].
- The benefit of upfront neck dissection (ND) in locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) treated with primary (chemo-) radiotherapy (R(C)T) is debated. Therefore, we retrospectively compared disease control and toxicity between patients who were treated with and without upfront ND followed by R(C)T.
- Induction chemotherapy with docetaxel, cisplatin and 5 FU (TPF) before radiotherapy (RT) or radio-chemotherapy (RT-CHX) has been shown to improve overall survival (OS) compared to induction chemotherapy with cisplatin and 5 FU in locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (HNSCC). Whether TPF induction before RT-CHX improves clinical outcome in comparison with RT-CHX alone is still a matter of debate. Recently, the results of 5 randomized trials addressing this question have become available.
- Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are small double-stranded DNA viruses that pose significant public health concerns as the causative agent of approximately 5% of worldwide cancers. The HPV oncogenes E6 and E7 play key roles in carcinogenesis. In the last 15 years there has been a significant increase in the incidence of HPV-related head and neck cancers arising primarily in the oropharynx. Patients with HPV-positive head and neck cancers (HNCs) have a significantly improved prognosis compared to those with HPV-negative disease.
- To determine if acute symptoms during definitive radiotherapy (RT) or chemoradiation (CHRT) are prognostic factors for late dysphagia in head and neck cancer (HNC).