The central mission of the HNCP is to improve the outcome of patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN). To accomplish this mission, members of the HNCP:
- participate in laboratory research to increase our understanding of the biology of head and neck cancer, with special emphasis on elucidating the factors that contribute to SCCHN susceptibility, progression and response to therapy;
- initiate innovative clinical trials to test the hypotheses delineated in preclinical models;
- recruit new investigators to the field of SCCHN; and
- train young investigators in translational SCCHN research approaches.
These objectives are accomplished through research funded by individual grants, a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-supported Specialized Program for Research Excellence (SPORE) grant in Head and Neck Cancer, and interactions with program projects, in addition to a pilot studies program and a NCI-sponsored training grant to support basic research training in head and neck oncology.
The overall scientific goal of the Head and Neck Cancer Program is to increase the understanding of the genetic and cellular alterations that contribute to the development and progression of SCCHN, with the ultimate aim of implementing innovative prevention, diagnostic, and treatment strategies. To achieve this goal, specific areas of emphasis include the following: Cell Signaling, Epidemiology, Immunotherapy, and Clinical Studies.