Clinical Investigation of Head and Neck Cancer
As the clinical director of the Head and Neck Oncology Program, I care for patients with head and neck cancer and also supervise clinical trials involving these patients. They are typically treated in a multidisciplinary clinic in close collaboration with the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center (DF/BWCC), the Department of Radiation Oncology at DFCI, dentistry, speech and swallow therapists, and oral surgery. I also conduct translational research in cooperation with Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, the Forsyth Institute, the Phyllis F. Cantor Center for Research in Nursing and Patient Care Services, and other disease centers. In addition, I am responsible for teaching fellows who rotate through the Head and Neck Cancer Program, as well as medical students, medical residents, and ear, nose, and throat residents through the DF/BWCC.
My current clinical research activities involve the use of an intensive chemoradiotherapy regimen for patients with locally advanced head and neck cancer, with particular attention to radioprotection and cytoprotection. We have initiated a large randomized phase II study with chemoradiotherapy and subcutaneous amifostine. This very important study, conducted across multiple sites, opened and began accruing patients in 2005. We have also started a large phase III study, called the Paradigm Trial, that compares sequential chemoradiotherapy with concomitant chemoradiotherapy. This study will enroll more than 300 patients in different institutions around the country.
In other research, we are working with the National Cancer Institute/Cancer Therapy Evaluation program to develop a phase II study examining the use of depsipeptide in head and neck cancer. We will also be looking at new molecules - including Erbitux (cetuximab), lapatinib, ZD6474, and others - for the treatment of head and neck cancer.