Head and neck cancers occur inside the sinuses, nose, mouth and salivary glands down through the throat. Although these cancers are different, they are treated similarly, so are considered as a group. About 80 % of head and neck cancer is due to the use of alcohol or tobacco.
In 2012, 3,254 head and neck cancers were diagnosed in Australia. These figures include cancers of the tongue, gum, mouth, salivary glands, tonsils, pharynx, nasal cavity and larynx, but not cancers of the lip.
Research at QIMR Berghofer is aimed at developing a better understanding of the immune response to head and neck cancers and how that information can be translated into new cancer therapies.
Our research focuses on:
- determining the impact of various immunotherapies on the growth and metastasis of various types of head and neck cancer in mice
- determining the expression of necl and nectin-like molecules in human head and neck cancers and correlating that with outcome and response to new immunotherapies
- determining the impact of hypoxia on the adenosinergic pathways in head and neck cancers.