Head and Neck Cancer Research

Translational Research

Roswell Park has launched several translational research projects as part of the international head & neck cancer consortium with Mazumdar-Shaw Cancer Center in Bangalore, India. Goals of just a few of the projects include:

  • Development of a mobile app to assist community dental surgeons in identifying suspicious oral lesions in high-risk patients
  • Development of a saliva-based test to screen for oral cancer and provide information about how the disease will probably progress
  • Isolation and identification of treatment-resistant pathways in oral cancer stem cells, to help identify the best treatment choices and suggest promising new treatments under study that may be effective
  • Development of specialized testing that can be used in the operating room during surgery to confirm whether squamous cell carcinoma has metastasized (spread) to lymph nodes in the head and neck, to avoid over-treatment and such side effects as lymphedema
  • Creation of a panel of biomarkers to identify laryngeal/pharyngeal cancer patients whose genetic profiles suggest how they are likely to respond to a combination of chemotherapy and radiation as an alternative to surgery

Research Aimed at Speeding Recovery

Roswell Park investigators are working with research partners at the State University of New York at Buffalo and the Daemen College Center for Wound-Healing Research to understand the causes of chronic wounds and to develop strategies to promote healing. The team aims to create the first-ever clinical test to determine — soon after a wound develops — whether or not healing is progressing normally, so that intervention can occur early on if necessary.