Head and Neck Cancer Treatment Center
The Head and Neck Oncology Program is dedicated to treating patients with head and neck cancers. Our team of specialists will work with you to create a treatment plan tailored to your type of cancer, as well as to your lifestyle and personal needs, to achieve the best possible outcome.
About the Center
The Head and Neck Oncology program at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center is dedicated exclusively to treating patients with head and neck cancers, which include cancers of the throat, larynx, nose, sinuses, and mouth.
The treatment of head and neck cancer is fairly complex. Vital functions such as breathing, speech, and swallowing can be affected by both the cancer and its treatment. Caring for patients with head and neck cancers requires significant expertise, given the complexity of the structures involved. However, treatments are constantly evolving, and cure rates are improving.
Our specialists evaluate and treat all types and stages of cancer, from early lesions to the rarest and most challenging cases. We also specialize in the treatment of all forms and stages of salivary gland and thyroid cancer.
As a patient, your care team will include highly experienced clinicians from numerous specialties. Depending on your treatment, your team may include experts in head and neck surgery, medical and radiation oncology, dentistry, oral surgery, reconstructive surgery, nutrition services, social work, and speech, voice, and swallowing therapy.
The providers in our treatment center are also involved in head and neck cancer research. They conduct basic science investigations to gain a deeper understanding of the epidemiology and biology of these cancers, and clinical research to develop promising new treatments for patients.
Specialized Thyroid Cancer Center
Types of cancers we treat include:
- Acinic cell cancer
- Adenocarcinoma cancer
- Adenoidcystic carcinoma
- Adult craniopharyngioma
- Anaplastic thyroid cancer
- Ear and temporal bone cancer
- Follicular cancer
- Follicular thyroid cancer
- Head and neck melanoma
- Head and neck sarcomas
- Hurthle cell cancer
- Hypopharyngeal cancer
- Laryngeal cancer
- Lip cancer
- Mandible and jaw cancer
- Mandibular gland cancer
- Medullary thyroid cancer
- Merkel cell carcinoma
- Mucoepidermoid cancer
- Nasopharyngeal cancer
- Oral cancer
- Oral cavity cancer
- Oropharyngeal cancer
- Papillary cancer
- Parathyroid cancer
- Paranasal sinus and nasal cavity cancer
- Pharyngeal cancer
- Precancerous vocal cord dysplasia
- Salivary gland/parotid cancer
- Skull base cancer
- Squamous cell cancer
- Throat cancer
- Thyroid cancer
- Tongue cancer
- Unknown primary cancer
View an informative slide show from Dana-Farber
View this Slideshare presentation from Dana-Farber. Incidence of thyroid cancer is on the rise. In fact, according to the American Cancer Society, it's the most rapidly increasing cancer in the United States; in 2015, there were an estimated 62,450 new cases in the U.S. Learn about the different types of thyroid cancer, risk factors, and current treatment options.
Our Treatment Approach
Beginning with the initial consultation, a team of specialists will work with you to create a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your type of cancer, as well as your lifestyle and personal needs, to achieve the best possible outcome.
Your treatment team coordinates all aspects of care, including services such as:
- head and neck surgery
- medical oncology
- radiation oncology
- oral surgery
- reconstructive surgery
- surgical pathology
- nutrition services
- palliative care
- social work
- speech and voice therapy
- swallowing therapy
- psychology and psychiatry
We understand that cancer affects patients and their families in many ways. In additional to clinical care, we offer a wide range of services, from financial planning to complementary therapies to spiritual counseling, to help you in a variety of ways through your experience with cancer treatment and survivorship.
Effective treatment that preserves function and appearance
Because head and neck cancers can affect some of the most important structures of the body, you may be understandably concerned about the after-effects of your cancer treatments. Our physicians and researchers have broken new ground in developing treatments that minimize the impact on your appearance and your ability to eat, swallow and speak, while effectively treating your cancer. These initiatives include:
- Organ sparing surgery and reconstruction.
- Robotic surgery
- Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), a form of radiation treatment that minimizes damage to normal tissue.
- The use of novel chemotherapy drugs with radiation and limited surgery to preserve speech or swallowing.
- Experimental chemotherapy
Your entire care team has extensive experience in treating head and neck cancers. Our specialists work closely together and collaborate regularly to ensure that your care plan offers the best possible outcomes and that all your needs are met.
Robert I. Haddad, MD, Disease Center Leader, Head and Neck Oncology Program
Roy Tishler, MD, Director, Head and Neck Radiation Oncology
Ravindra Uppaluri, MD, PhD, Director, Head and Neck Surgical Oncology
Russell Blinder, MD
Thomas Lee, MD
Jeffrey Fred Krane, MD, PhD
Dentistry and Oral Medicine
Elizabeth Castronovo, NP
Jo Ann Fugazzotto, BC, OCN, APRN
Jason Glass, NP
Jennifer McColgan, PA-C, MPH
Sonia Patel, NP, MPH
Holly Lopes, RN
Laura Ma, RN
Mary Tanner, RN, BSN
Clinical Research Nurses
Michelle Flynn, RN
Patty McHugh, RN, BSN, OCN, MPA
Speech and Swallow Pathology
Elaine Burke, MS, CCC-SLP
Maria Puglia, MA, CCC-SLP
Allison Chaffman, MS, CCC-SLP
Irene Goss-Werner, MSW, LCSW
Em Biever, MPH, RD, LDN
Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, LDN, CSO
Stephanie Meyers, MS, RD, LDN
Mae Reilly, MS, RD, LDN, CSNC
Hillary Wright, MEd, RD, LDN
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.
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.
If you have never been seen before at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center, please call 877-442-3324 or use this online form to make an appointment.
You may schedule your first appointment for as soon as the next day. After scheduling, one of our nurses will call you to answer your questions and help you prepare for the appointment.
For all other inquiries, please call 617-632-3090
Head and Neck Oncology Center
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
450 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215