Clinical Trials for Head & Neck Cancer

VIDEO | 06:00

Memorial Sloan Kettering surgeons participate in a panel discussion of the latest advances in head and neck cancer treatment.

Ian Ganly talks about ongoing clinical trials and what the head and neck cancer team at Memorial Sloan Kettering is learning from them. Many of the advances in cancer treatment have been gained through clinical trials. Clinical trials typically involve comparing the traditional methods of cancer treatment with new methods to determine if the new treatment produces a better result.

In head and neck cancer, many of the treatments involve radiation and chemotherapy, which can produce side effects and kill normal tissue in addition to the cancerous tissue. In these cases the clinical trials would focus on different types of drugs to see which is most effective at reducing damage to healthy tissue and side effects.

In addition to drug-based clinical trials, the team at MSK is also conducting trials with radiation doses and trials comparing results of robotic surgery to traditional radiation and chemotherapy methods.