The initial approach to the patient is to evaluate the following parameters:
Detection of a monoclonal (or myeloma) protein (M protein) in the serum or urine.
Detection of more than 10% of plasma cells on a bone marrow examination.
Detection of lytic bone lesions or generalized osteoporosis in skeletal x-rays.
Presence of soft tissue plasmacytomas.
Serum albumin and beta-2-microglobulin levels.
Detection of free kappa and lambda serum immunoglobulin light...
Radiation may be the preferred modality where the functional deficit will be great, such as the tongue base or tonsil, as shown in the RTOG-9003 trial, for example.
Surgery may be the preferred modality where the functional deficit will be minimal, such as tonsil pillar.
When radiation is given, careful choice of radiation technique by a radiation oncologist experienced in managing head and neck cancers is essential. The choice of treatment is dictated by the anticipated functional, cosmetic, and socioeconomic results of the treatment options as well as by the available expertise of the surgeon or radiation therapist. Treatment is individualized for each patient.
Treatment options under clinical evaluation:
Radiation clinical trials evaluating hyperfractionation schedules should be considered.
Current Clinical Trials
Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with stage I oropharyngeal cancer. The list of clinical trials can be further narrowed by location, drug, intervention, and other criteria.
General information about clinical trials is also available from the NCI Web site.