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Head and Neck Cancer SPORE

Purpose and Intent

The goal of the MD Anderson Cancer Center SPORE in Head and Neck (HN) Cancer is to facilitate innovative translational research in the biology, detection, prevention and treatment of head and neck cancer, leading eventually to the elimination of this disease. Our dedicated collaborative researchers will accomplish this goal by effective integration of laboratory, epidemiologic and clinical research, which will lead to changes in clinical practice that will provide innovative prevention and treatment strategies and improve outcome for patients with this disease.

Advances have been made in recent years through the use of strategies such as chemoprevention for the reversal of oral premalignant lesions and the prevention of second primary tumors, and combination chemotherapy/radiotherapy for advanced head and neck cancer in order to avoid radical surgery and preserve organ function. These advances have improved quality of life in terms of cosmesis and function, but they have done little to improve survival.

Head and neck cancer is the sixth most common cancer worldwide, and, unfortunately, its incidence seems to be increasing as tobacco products become more widely used. Major challenges remain in developing effective chemopreventive strategies to prevent cancer development, and in developing effective therapeutic strategies integrating molecularly targeted agents into established combination chemotherapy and radiotherapy regimens in order to improve survival. This application was designed to address these challenges.

© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center