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September 1987

Multimodality Therapy and Distant Metastases: The Impact of Natural Killer Cell Activity

Author Affiliations

Columbus, Ohio

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1987;113(9):918-919. doi:10.1001/archotol.1987.01860090016004

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Stimson P. Shantz, MD, and Helmuth Goepfert, MD, of the Department of Head and Neck Surgery at the M. D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute, Houston, discussed the impact of natural killer (NK) cell activity at the April 29, 1987 meeting of the American Society for Head and Neck Surgery. They noted that the use of postoperative radiotherapy for patients with head and neck cancer has been associated with an alteration in patterns of recurrence. Although this combined therapy regimen seems to reduce local recurrence, distant metastases predominate. The hypothesis is that factors contributing to this phenomenon may relate to the host immunologic status. There were 182 patients with previously untreated squamous cell carcinoma of the upper aerodigestive tract evaluated for NK cell activity. The initial definitive treatment rendered all of the patients disease free. These patients were subsequently followed up longitudinally with a median follow-up interval of 16 months.

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