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Practice Update: Exploring New Approaches in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Text Module

Head and neck cancers can occur in a variety of anatomic locations including the mucosal lip, oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, and paranasal sinuses. Most patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) present with either early-stage or locally advanced disease, with treatment options including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and combinations of these approaches. More recently, immunotherapies are being investigated in HNSCC and thus far, 2 immune checkpoint inhibitors have been approved for the treatment of patients with HNSCC. In this activity, Barbara Burtness, MD addresses key topics in the management of head and neck cancers, including a review of the safety and efficacy of the currently approved immune checkpoint inhibitors, biomarkers for immunotherapy response, and ongoing trials with immunotherapies in the locally advanced and recurrent/metastatic disease setting.

Physician Assistants: maximum of 1.00 hours of AAPA Category 1 CME credits Registered Nurses: 1.00 Nursing contact hours, includes 1.00 hour of pharmacology credit

Released: July 20, 2022

Expiration: July 19, 2023

No longer available for credit.



Barbara Burtness

Barbara Burtness, MD

Anthony N. Brady Professor of Medicine
Yale School of Medicine
Chief Translational Research Officer
Division Chief
Head and Neck/Sarcoma Oncology
Developmental Therapeutics Program
Yale Head and Neck SPORE
Yale Cancer Center
ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group
New Haven, Connecticut


This activity is supported by an educational grant from Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp.

Provided by

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Target Audience

Oncology NPs, PAs, and nurses

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this activity, participants should be able to:

  • Assess evidence for novel therapies and combinations for HNSCC

  • Identify toxicities associated with novel and emerging therapies in HNSCC

  • Apply strategies to manage adverse events associated with therapies for HNSCC


All faculty and planners participating in continuing education activities sponsored by Partners for Advancing Clinical Education (PACE) are required to disclose all financial relationships with ineligible companies. All relevant conflicts of interest are thoroughly vetted and mitigated according to PACE policy. In addition, all faculty are required to openly disclose any off-label, experimental, or investigational use of drugs or devices discussed in this activity. The faculty and Planning Committee have been advised that this activity must be free from commercial bias and based upon all available scientifically rigorous data from research that conforms to accepted standards of experimental design, data collection, and analysis.

Barbara Burtness, MD: consultant: ALX Oncology, Arvinas, AstraZeneca, Coherus, Cue Biopharma, Debio, Exelexis, Fusion, Genentech, GlaxoSmithKline, Hookipa, Merck KGaA, Nektar, Vaccinex; researcher: Cue Biopharma, Exelexis, Gilead, Merck, Vaccinex; data and safety monitoring committee: AstraZeneca/Medimmune, Kura, Nektar, Roche.

Beth Sandy, MSN, CRNP: consultant: Amgen, AstraZeneca, Janssen, Jazz, Merck, Takeda.

Susan Moench, PhD, PA-C: independent contractor: Gilead, Merck.

None of the members of the PCE or PACE staff have any relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Instructions for Credit

Participants wishing to earn CE/CME credit must:

  1. Review the content in its entirety
  2. Relate the content material to the learning objectives
  3. Complete the post-test and evaluation form

Successful completion of the post-test is required to earn CE/CME credit. Successful completion is defined as a cumulative score of at least 67%.

The estimated time to complete this activity is 1.00 hour.

Release date: July 20, 2022
Expiration date: July 19, 2023


eNewsletter with interactive benchmarking and audio commentary


The opinions or views expressed in this CE/CME activity do not necessarily reflect the opinions or recommendations of Practicing Clinicians Exchange or any educational supporter.



Joint Accreditation Statement

Joint AccreditationIn support of improving patient care, Partners for Advancing Clinical Education (PACE) is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

ANCC Credit Designation

NP course advisor: Beth Sandy, MSN, CRNP, Abramson Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Nursing contact hours: 1.00, which includes 1.00 hour of pharmacology credit

AAPA Credit Designation

Joint AccreditationPartners for Advancing Clinical Education (PACE) has been authorized by the American Academy of PAs (AAPA) to award AAPA Category 1 CME credit for activities planned in accordance with AAPA CME Criteria. This activity is designated for 1.00 AAPA Category 1 CME credit. Approval is valid until July 19, 2023. PAs should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation.

PA course advisor: Susan Moench, PhD, PA-C, Edison, New Jersey

IPCE Credit Designation
IPCEThis activity was planned by and for the healthcare team, and learners will receive 1.00 Interprofessional Continuing Education (IPCE) credit for learning and change.

Additional Information

Program Medium

This program has been made available online.