During the past 13 years our UCLA team has treated approximately 500 patients with recurrent head and neck cancer by laser induced thermal therapy (LITT). This has led us to being among the most experienced medical centers in the country using LITT for palliation of recurrent head and neck cancer. Although LITT procedures are safe, feasible, and can extend survival, margin recurrence is seen in many cases, particularly for palliation of advanced obstructing cancers. In an attempt to improve tumor response after LITT for recurrent head and neck cancer, our group has showed that combining cisplatinum in a therapeutic implant (CDDP/gel) followed by LITT led to significant improvement in both survival and cure rate. The hypothesis to be tested in this proposal is that CDDP/gel and LITT novel treatment is safe and tolerable (1), and a more efficient minimal invasive cancer therapy than LITT alone (2) that will positively impact on patients'quality of life (3).
The specific aims to address the hypothesis above are:
Specific Aim 1 - Initiate a Phase I clinical trial to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of CDDP/gel by escalating doses using followed by LITT in patients with recurrent head and neck carcinomas.
Specific Aim 2 - After establishing safety of laser and cisplatin treatment, a Phase II trial will estimate efficacy of the combined modality therapy.
Specific Aim 3 - Assess health-related quality of life in all patients treated by combined therapy (Phase l-ll). The investigators listed in this project developed combined drug and laser therapy as well as imaging guided laser ablation procedures for cancer treatment. Intratumor chemotherapy and LITT delivered by fiberoptic insertion under MRI is the quintessential goal of treatment developed at UCLA. The combined minimally invasive procedures proposed have a strong translational potential not only for less traumatic palliation of head and neck tumors but may prove useful for other types of tumors in advanced cancer patients.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Career Transition Award (K22)
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Subcommittee G - Education (NCI)
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Wali, Anil
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University of California Los Angeles
Schools of Medicine
Los Angeles
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Sercarz, Joel A; Bublik, Michael; Joo, Jayne et al. (2010) Outcomes of laser thermal therapy for recurrent head and neck cancer. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 142:344-50
Joo, Jayne; Sercarz, Joel A; Paolini, Ana Amelia et al. (2009) Laser-induced thermal therapy and cisplatin for recurrent head and neck cancer: a case characterized by an unusually long disease-free survival. Ear Nose Throat J 88:E13-6