Description

EORTC research in Head and Neck cancer aims to contribute to better patient management at various stages of disease by promoting and validating new treatments, and to improve the understanding of this group of diseases by examining why individuals respond in a certain way to therapy. The research focuses on five main areas:

  • early stage oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma,
  • locally advanced pharyngolaryngeal squamous cell carcinoma,
  • pre-operative oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma,
  • recurrent and/or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma and salivary gland tumours and
  • Quality of Life in this group of patients.

Main Achievements

A pioneering EORTC study demonstrated that a larynx preservation strategy provides similar overall survival rates compared with conventional treatment with total laryngectomy, and allowed two-thirds of the survivors to retain their larynx in patients with locally-advanced hypopharyngeal cancer.

In parallel, our research established, in the framework of larynx preservation protocols, the EORTC neo-adjuvant triple drug as the standard of care in locally-advanced unresectable laryngeal and hypopharyngeal tumours.

EORTC also contributed to the validation of alternated fractionation radiotherapy regimen, resulting in a 19% improved loco-regional control rate in patients with T2-T3, N0-N1 oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma.

The group also established post-operative radiotherapy (66 Gy in 6.5 weeks) with concurrent administration of high dose cisplatin as the standard of care for patients with locally-advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma with R1 resection.

Related Projects

  • ERP 456 and 459: Translational research linked to afatinib window trial (EORTC 90111) (project leaders: Lisa Licitra and Jean-Pascal Machiels)
    Translational research is currently ongoing at the laboratories in UCL Brussels and IT Milano. RP 1353: 24971-TR project for evaluation of the association of tumor HPV and p16 status with progression-free survival among patients with stage III or IV HNSCC (project leader: Amanda Psyrri)
  • Manuscript has been submitted for publication. RP 1237: 24971 – Prognostic factor analysis (project leader: Jan B. Vermorken)Additional work is required as statistical properties of the prognostic models tested are not adequate; objectives of the modeling need to be reconsidered.
  • RP 1473: The implementation of a newly established therapeutic model in patients with head and neck cancer in real-world cancer care (project leader: Lifang Liu, from EORTC HQ)
    The case study is being further developed by the Belgian Cancer Registry with no significant involvement of EORTC at the moment.

European Reference Networks (ERN) for rare solid tumours (EURACAN). EURACAN is involving references centers in Europe covering ten types of rare cancers. EURACAN will improve patient cares and facilitate research in rare cancers.  EORTC is providing the clinical research infrastructure. (No website available yet)

Research Group

Group documents
  • Chair

    Christian Simon

    Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois

    Lausanne , Switzerland

  • Secretary

    Ana Castro

    Lenitudes Research and Medical Center

    Espargo - Santa Maria da Feira, Portugal

  • Treasurer

    Guy Andry

    Institut Jules Bordet

    Brussels, Belgium

Subcommittee Representatives

  • S. Oosting - Groningen, NL

    Medical oncology

    University Medical Center Groningen

  • I. Tinhofer - Berlin, DE

    Translational Research

    Charite - Universitaetsmedizin Berlin

  • A. Dietz - Leipzig, DE

    Surgery

    Universitaetsklinikum Leipzig

  • E. Ozsahin - Lausanne, CH

    Radiotherapy

    Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois

  • S. Singer - Mainz, DE

    Quality of Life

    Johannes Gutenberg Universitaetskliniken - Mainz University Medical Center

  • L. Locati - Milan, IT

    Young investigator

    Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori

  • P. Bossi - Milano, IT

    Young investigator

    Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori

  • R. Lhommel - Brussels, BE

    Imaging group representative

    Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc

  • K. Hunter - Sheffield, GB

    Pathobiology group representative

    Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology diagnostic service - The School of Clinical Dentistry - University of Sheffield