Head and Neck Cancer Clinical Research and Trials

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Clinical Trials Questions?


You Benefit From Researcher-Clinician Collaboration

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.

A Sample of Our Trials and Studies

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.

Immunotherapy Research in Head and Neck Cancer

Immunotherapy in recurrent and metastatic head and neck cancers is now a part of standard care. Dana-Farber researchers are now investigating using those immunotherapies earlier, before the head and neck cancer spreads or comes back.