Staging of the neck in patients with head and neck squamous cell cancer: imaging techniques and biomarkers

Oral Oncology
Robert P Takes

Abstract

Regional metastasis is an important factor in the treatment and prognosis of head and neck cancer patients. Current treatment strategies rely on staging based on the still limited accuracy of imaging techniques to detect regional metastases. If more certainty about the nodal status could be attained, treatment strategies concerning the neck could be better adjusted to the individual patient. The continuing improvement of established imaging techniques and the introduction of new imaging modalities will add to better staging. Moreover, the additional use of biomarkers studied on a protein, RNA or DNA level may provide even better information about the chance of occult nodal metastasis in head and neck cancer patients.

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