A closer look at throat cancer


Patients with advanced throat cancer (T4) who have their larynx removed face better prognoses than patients treated with just radiotherapy, with or without chemotherapy. This is one of the conclusions of Marije Petersen's PhD research at the Netherlands Cancer Institute.


She investigated the treatment of, and survival after, hypopharynx cancer in a study among roughly three thousand patients. Between 1999 and 2010 physicians increasingly chose treatments that allowed preservation of the larynx. This preference should be reconsidered for patients with an advanced stage of the disease (T4), Petersen argues. During her PhD research she also investigated the quality of life of patients after treatment, and she developed a decision tool to assist patients and doctors with the sometimes complex considerations necessary for choosing the right treatment. On Wednesday June 19thshe will defend her thesis at the University of Amsterdam. Good luck Marije!

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