Background: Cancer is one of the diseases causing society’s fears as a stigma of death
and pain. Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC) is a group of malignant neoplasms
of different locations in this region of the human body. It is one of the leading causes of morbidity
and mortality in Brazil, because these malignant neoplasias, in most cases, are diagnosed in late
phases. Surgical excision, chemotherapy and radiotherapy encompass the forefront of antineoplastic
therapy; however, the numerous side effects associated with these therapeutic modalities are
well known. Some treatments present enough potential to help or replace conventional treatments,
such as Magnetic Hyperthermia and Photodynamic Therapy. Such approaches require the development
of new materials at the nanoscale, able to carry out the loading of their active components
while presenting characteristics of biocompatibility mandatory for biomedical applications.
Objective: This work aims to make a bibliographical review of HNSCC treatments. Recent techniques
proven effective in other types of cancer were highlighted and raised discussion and reflections
on current methods and possibilities of enhancing the treatment of HNSCC.
Methods: The study was based on bibliometric research between the years 2008 and 2019 using
the following keywords: Cancer, Head and Neck Cancer, Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy, Photodynamic
Therapy, and Hyperthermia.
Results: A total of 5.151.725 articles were found, 3.712.670 about cancer, 175.470 on Head and
Neck Cancer, 398.736 on Radiotherapy, 760.497 on Chemotherapy, 53.830 on Hyperthermia, and
50.522 on Photodynamic Therapy.
Conclusion: The analysis shows that there is still much room for expanding research, especially
for alternative therapies since most of the studies still focus on conventional treatments and on the
quest to overcome their side effects. The scientific community needs to keep looking for more effective
therapies generating fewer side effects for the patient. Currently, the so-called alternative
therapies are being used in combination with the conventional ones, but the association of these
new therapies shows great potential, in other types of cancer, to improve the treatment efficacy.