The Netherlands Cancer Institute is a world famous research institute. On the website of the institute a lot of information on many topics can be found.

The Head and Neck Cooperative Group is involved in both clinical research as well as translational research.

Currently we are recruiting patients in several trials:

  1. Olaparib as a radiosensitizer (olaparib is a very promising radiosensitizer, probably more potent than cisplatin or cetuximab). See Link
  2. SN scintigraphy to reduce radiotherapy toxicity by reducing fields to the neck (SUSPECT study): see Link
  3. Adaptive (chemo)radiotherapy in advanced head and neck cancer (ARTFORCE): see Link
  4. Comparison of 2 radiotherapy techniques in palliative care: see Link

The Head and Neck Group is active in publishing research and academic theses.

A link to publications

Clinical and Translational Research

The head and neck department at the Netherlands Cancer Institute directs a significant part of its work to research. The goal is to advance the understanding and management of head and neck cancer. The department has a renowned reputation in the field of rehabilitation and quality of life after treatment, especially after laryngectomy (see Rehabilitation after laryngectomy). The Provox system is designed and tested in close cooperation with the department, and further improvements are to be expected. In the annual reports, a summary can be found (see NKI-AVL section research). Currently 2 PhD students are working on projects concerning speech and airway improvement after total laryngectomy in close cooperation with the University of Amsterdam (ACLC).

Studies on swallowing rehabilitation using a swallowing workstation and intensive swallowing therapy as well as innovative devices such as the therabite and vitalstim are being studied.

The department participates in nation wide studies coordinated by the NWHHT (Netherlands Working Group on Head and Neck Cancer) as well as European studies coordinated by the EORTC. Besides clinical trials, several related basic research projects are being carried out about expression profiling and deep sequencing to establish predictive patterns for resistance to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. There is a close cooperation with the universities of Amsterdam, Nijmegen, Groningen and Leuven (Belgium).

Within the department many prospective and retrospective studies are being performed by the staff, speech therapists, and residents concerning evaluation of treatment and diagnostics, sentinel node, quality of life and revalidation.

Translational research focuses on the mechanisms of chemo and radiotherapy and the resistance to these modalities. Using innovative techniques, such as micro-arrays, immunohistochemistry, hypoxia assessment and adduct studies, we try to better predict treatment response to radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Eventually, these studies might lead to more individualized treatment planning.

In cooperation with several European Centers nasopharyngeal carcinoma ethiology, screening and treatment is studied in Indonesia (coordinated by Bing Tan and partially financed by the Netherlands Cancer Foundation, KWF).

Together with Prof. M. Verheij, research in the field of response modifiers is being carried out. Using small molecular drugs, such as perifosine or gossypol, we try to increase the radiosensitivity of tumors.

Translational research is performed in close cooperation with researchers from the laboratories of the NKI : dr Conchita Vens and Prof Sjaak Neefjes.

Medical students from the University of Amsterdam and other universities often conduct research projects at our department.

For further information, please contact

In the table, the topics as covered in 2013 are summarized.

For information on sponsoring: read on….

Ad 1 Rehabilitation 
The ‘Lastmeter’ in outpatient cancer consultations: Help or hindrance to physician-patient communication
Automatic evaluation of voice and speech rehabilitation following treatment of head and neck cancer
Articulation and acoustic parameter assessment in head and neck cancer
HME assessment and improvement in laryngectomized Patients
Outcome of laryngeal Cancer and long term results of voice rehabilitation
Cost effectiveness of HME and voice rehabilitation in Laryngectomized
Rehabilitation of dysphagia in head and neck Cancer
Ad 2  Photodynamic Therapy:
Optimizing PhotoDynamic Therapy of Head and Neck Tumors
Treatment planning for interstitial photodynamic therapy for head and neck cancer
A multi-centre cost-effectiveness evaluation of a novel treatment option in the Netherlands: Photo Dynamic Therapy with temoporfine for the treatment of advanced incurable head and neck cancers, for whom prior conventional treatments have failed.
An open-label single arm, multi centre, Phase II study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of PC-A11 with superficial and interstitial laser light application in patients with recurrent head and neck squamous cell carcinoma unsuitable for surgery and radiotherapy and without distance metastases
Ad 3 (Chemo-)radiation
Improvement of local control and prediction of treatment specific outcome in locally advanced head and neck cancer patients treated with cisplatinum or cetuximab and standard or adaptive radiotherapy (ARTFORCE)
Anatomical changes of oropharyngeal carcinoma during the
course of radiotherapy
Cancer treatment with Olaparib for Oropharynx, Larynx and Radiation Treatment (COOLART)
Improvement of chemoradiation response in head and neck cancer by (-)Gossypol (AT-101)
Ototoxicity  after Concurrent chemoradiation Middle ear thiosulfate-gel protection against cisplatin-induced hearing loss
High precision radiotherapy in the presence of anatomical changes
Ad 4 Nasopharynx carcinoma
Current problems and possible solutions in the treatment of Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma in Indonesia
Optimizing Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma management through increasing awareness in Yogyakarta, Indonesia
New therapy for Epstein-Barr virus driven tumours by targeting the virus itself in Indonesia
Epstein Barr Virus Activation and Cytolytic Antiviral Therapy in Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Patients
NPC awareness program in Indonesia
Ad 5 Functional inoperability
Definition of functional inoperability
Virtual head and neck surgery
Prediction of skull growth characteristics in children
Hypoglossal nerve mapping and clinical prediction of function loss after surgery after surgery
Local adverse effects in head and neck rhabdomyosarcoma survivors
Ad 6 Translational research
Deep sequencing of oral and oropharyngeal cancer: the role of DNA repair deficits in outcome and treatment
Prognostic factors in young patients with head and neck cancer
MicroRNA and messengerRNA sequencing of larynx cancer to predict outcome after radiotherapy
The role of bacteria in head and neck carcinogenesis
Exploring the contribution of Macrophages and Lymphocytes in the Microenvironment of HPV-induced and non-HPV induced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck
HPV-16-DNA vaccination in patients with HPV-16 positive squamous cell carcinomas: A phase I toxicity study.
Short term culturing and DUB inhibitors
Ad 7 Imaging
Significance of radiologically determined prognostic factors for head and neck cancer
Melanoma Surgery and the impact of sentinel node biopsy
Molecular imaging agents for surgical guidance
Innovations in radioguided surgery: introducing multimodal approaches for sentinel node detection
Recurrent differentiated thyroid cancer: towards personalized treatment based on evaluation of tumor characteriscs with PET (Thyropet)
Ad 8 Clinical Quality control
Surgical treatment of non melanoma skin cancer of the Head and neck
Value of quality indicators in head and neck cancer
Factors influencing local wound healing and effect TachoSil
Treatment delay and prognosis