A number of advances in treatments for head and neck cancer were presented at the 2022 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Mark S. Persky, MD, a head and neck surgeon at NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center, tells eCancer that monitoring circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) can help determine how well treatment is working.
“Comparison of the preoperative ctDNA to the postoperative ctDNA really gives us an effective method for knowing if the entire tumor has been removed, both from the primary site and also from any of the potential lymph nodes that may be involved with metastatic disease in the neck, too,” says Dr. Persky, also a professor in the Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. “Often the ctDNA will go down to zero immediately after the operation, which obviously portends an excellent result.”
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