• Head and Neck Cancer Treatment Center

    Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Care

    The Head and Neck Oncology Program is dedicated to treating patients with head and neck cancers. Our team of specialists will work with you to create a treatment plan tailored to your type of cancer, as well as to your lifestyle and personal needs, to achieve the best possible outcome.

    About the Center

    Dr. Robert Haddad with a patient

    The Head and Neck Oncology program at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center is dedicated exclusively to treating patients with head and neck cancers, which include cancers of the throat, larynx, nose, sinuses, and mouth.

    The treatment of head and neck cancer is fairly complex. Vital functions such as breathing, speech, and swallowing can be affected by both the cancer and its treatment. Caring for patients with head and neck cancers requires significant expertise, given the complexity of the structures involved. However, treatments are constantly evolving, and cure rates are improving.

    Our specialists evaluate and treat all types and stages of cancer, from early lesions to the rarest and most challenging cases. We also specialize in the treatment of all forms and stages of salivary gland and thyroid cancer.

    As a patient, your care team will include highly experienced clinicians from numerous specialties. Depending on your treatment, your team may include experts in head and neck surgery, medical and radiation oncology, dentistry, oral surgery, reconstructive surgery, nutrition services, social work, and speech, voice, and swallowing therapy.

    The providers in our treatment center are also involved in head and neck cancer research. They conduct basic science investigations to gain a deeper understanding of the epidemiology and biology of these cancers, and clinical research to develop promising new treatments for patients.

    Types of cancers we treat include:
     

    Our Treatment Approach

    Beginning with the initial consultation, a team of specialists will work with you to create a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your type of cancer, as well as your lifestyle and personal needs, to achieve the best possible outcome.

    Your treatment team coordinates all aspects of care, including services such as:

    We understand that cancer affects patients and their families in many ways. In additional to clinical care, we offer a wide range of services, from financial planning to complementary therapies to spiritual counseling, to help you in a variety of ways through your experience with cancer treatment and survivorship.

    Effective treatment that preserves function and appearance

    Because head and neck cancers can affect some of the most important structures of the body, you may be understandably concerned about the after-effects of your cancer treatments. Our physicians and researchers have broken new ground in developing treatments that minimize the impact on your appearance and your ability to eat, swallow and speak, while effectively treating your cancer. These initiatives include:

    • Organ sparing surgery and reconstruction.
    • Robotic surgery
    • Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), a form of radiation treatment that minimizes damage to normal tissue.
    • The use of novel chemotherapy drugs with radiation and limited surgery to preserve speech or swallowing.
    • Experimental chemotherapy 
     

    Treatment Team

    Your entire care team has extensive experience in treating head and neck cancers. Our specialists work closely together and collaborate regularly to ensure that your care plan offers the best possible outcomes and that all your needs are met.

    Administrative Leadership

    Robert I. Haddad, MD, Disease Center Leader, Head and Neck Oncology Program

    Charles M. Norris Jr., MD, FACS, Director, Head and Neck Surgical Oncology

    Roy Tishler, MD, Director, Head and Neck Radiation Oncology

    Medical Oncology

    Robert I. Haddad, MD
    Nicole G. Chau, MD
    Jochen Lorch, MD, MS
    Guilherme Rabinowits, MD  

    Surgical Oncology

    Don Annino, MD, DMD
    Laura Goguen, MD, FACS
    Charles M. Norris Jr., MD, FACS
    Tom Thomas, MD, MPH 

    Radiation Oncology

    Danielle Margalit, MD
    Jonathan D. Schoenfeld, MD, MPhil, MPH
    Roy Tishler, MD 

    Radiology

    Russell Blinder, MD  
    Thomas Lee, MD  

    Pathology

    Jeffrey Fred Krane, MD, PhD 

    Dentistry

    Hani H. Mawardi, DMD, DMSc
    Stephen T. Sonis, DMD, DMSc
    Nathaniel Treister, DMD, DMSc

    Nurses and Nurse Practitioners

    Amy Cebulski, ANP
    Jo Ann Fugazzotto, BC, OCN, APRN
    Jason Glass, NP
    Beth Lager Hammerstrand, RN, MSN, ANP
    Holly Lopes, RN
    Laura Ma, RN
    Kate O'Brien, NP

    Clinical Research Nurse

    Patty McHugh, RN, BSN, OCN, MPA

    Speech and Swallow Pathology

    Elaine Burke, MS, CCC-SLP
    Maria Puglia, MA, CCC-SLP

    Social Work

    Angelee Russ, LCSW

    Nutrition

    Anne Chiavacci, MS, MA, RD
    Stacy Kennedy, MS, MPH, RD
    Tara Mardigan, MS, MPH, RD
    Stephanie Meyers, MS, RD
    Brooke Whinnem, RD, LDN
    Hillary Wright, MEd, RD, LDN

    Clinical Research

    One of the Center's most important goals is to discover new and better ways to treat cancers of the head and neck.

    Our clinicians meet regularly to discuss new developments in clinical and basic research. The close relationships between world-class researchers and medical clinicians ensure that the latest research findings are translated into new, effective treatment approaches as quickly as possible.

    As a patient, you will have access not only to clinical trials developed by Dana-Farber researchers, but also to those developed by specialists at other U.S. medical centers through research collaborations.

    Our clinical investigators are engaged on a number of research fronts. For example, clinical trials carried out by some of our researchers have shown that treatment regimens involving surgery and combined chemotherapy/radiation can often save tissues and structures, such as the larynx and vocal cords, which are vital to good quality of life.

    Other researchers are tapping into data to identify the genetic underpinnings of drug response in patients. These basic studies are helping fuel the discovery of effective, less toxic treatments.

    Studies are also focusing on the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), one strain of which is increasingly implicated in the cause of head and neck cancers. Dana-Farber researchers and others have found that patients with HPV-positive cancer typically have significantly better outcomes than those who are HPV-negative.

    Because the standard treatment for these cancers carries long-term complications for patients, our scientists have launched a trial to determine whether HPV-positive patients may do just as well with a significantly less-intense regimen of radiation therapy.

    Thyroid cancer is another area of interest in the disease center. Our researchers have developed many innovative clinical trials to treat patients with advanced thyroid cancer.

    Contact Us

    New patients

    If you have never been seen before at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center, please call 877-442-3324 or use this online form to make an appointment.

    For all other inquiries, please call 617-632-3090 

    Fax: 617-632-4448 

    Mailing address

    Head and Neck Oncology Center
    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
    450 Brookline Avenue
    Boston, MA 02215

     
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  • Make an Appointment

    • For adults:
      877-442-3324 (877-442-DFCI)
    • For children:
      888-733-4662 (888-PEDI-ONC)
    • Or complete the online form.
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  • Robotics Improving Treatment for Head and Neck Cancers

  • Related Multimedia

    • Dr. Robert HaddadDr. Robert Haddad appeared on WBUR's Here and Now to discuss the CDC's recommendation that boys should be vaccinated against the human papillomavirus (HPV).
      Listen to the story 

    • Robert Haddad in a survivorship videoLearn tips for coping with some of the short- and long-term side effects associated with head and neck cancer treatment in this video. 

    • HPV and head and neck cancer video screenshot An increasing number of head and neck cancers are caused by the human papillomavirus, and people are being diagnosed at an increasingly younger age. Dr. Haddad comments in this NBC Nightly News story. 
     
  • Patient Story

    • Ali Abbas AliWhile seeking a second opinion after a throat cancer diagnosis, Ali Abbas Ali found a team approach that went beyond innovative treatment, emphasizing a full spectrum of care and support that includes speech therapy, psychosocial services, nutrition, and pain management.
    • Read more 
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