Immunosuppression and cancer. Importance in head and neck surgery

TitleImmunosuppression and cancer. Importance in head and neck surgery
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1975
AuthorsPenn I
JournalArch Otolaryngol
Pagination667 - 70
Date PublishedNov
Accession Number1106376
Keywords*Immunosuppression, *Kidney Transplantation, Adult, Antibody Formation, Antigens, Neoplasm, Head and Neck Neoplasms / immunology / *surgery, Humans, Immunity, Cellular, Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use, Male, Transplantation, Homologous

The immune system is an important factor in the host's defenses against cancer. Immunosuppressive therapy associated with organ transplantation is accompanied by a substantially increased incidence of malignant neoplasms, many of which involve the head and neck. Treatment of carcinoma of the larynx by excision and laryngeal transplantation is not justified because of the complications, including malignant neoplasm, that are associated with immunosuppressive therapy. Cancer chemotherapeutic agents have immunosuppressive side-effects, and patients have manifested new malignant neoplasms while their original tumors were controlled by the antineoplastic drugs. These findings have important implications for the management of patients with malignant neoplasms, since other forms of cancer treatment, such as radical surgical procedures and radiotherapy, may also impair the host's resistance to cancer. Therefore, we should reappraise our methods of cancer therapy and examine their effects on the host's resistance to his neoplasm.

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