Our team is dedicated to research, including both laboratory science (which may someday lead to new treatments) and clinical studies to test the effectiveness of new therapies.
Your physician may discuss with you the possibility of joining a clinical trial, which could offer new treatment approaches that are not otherwise available.
We offer numerous clinical trials dedicated to finding better treatments for head and neck cancers.
To find currently recruiting clinical trials at Moores Cancer Center, see
Clinical Trials Search.
For more information on our trials or to find out eligibility criteria, please contact Gerald Henderson by
email or 858-822-5223.
Our physician-scientists and researchers are involved in many exciting studies, and the Head and Neck Cancer Center awards annual grants to projects that will ultimately improve curative treatment as well as the quality of care for patients and their families. Projects that received grants in 2017 include:
Novel Approaches to Inhibit Immune Suppression in Head and Neck Cancer
New immune therapies hold great promise for the treatment of cancer. However, in some tumors, proliferating macrophages drive resistance to these new therapeutics. This program, led by
Judith A. Varner, PhD, and Megan M. Kaneda, PhD, will investigate a new approach to overcome macrophage-mediated resistance to immune therapy in head and neck cancer by targeting novel mechanisms that drive macrophage proliferation.
Dosimetric and Functional Implications of Submandibular Gland Transfer in Oropharyngeal Cancer Patients Treated with Definitive IMRT
Submandibular gland transfer is a surgical technique which moves a single salivary gland forward underneath the jaw and is performed prior to treatment for patients who will be receiving radiation therapy for head and neck cancer. This method of sparing a salivary gland from the effects of high dose radiation has been shown to be quite effective with conventional forms of radiotherapy, but the implications of using this technique with more modern forms of radiation therapy have not been evaluated. This trial, led by
Charles Coffey, MD, with co-leaders
Parag Sanghvi, MD,
Vitali Moiseenko, PhD, and
Liza Blumenfeld, MA-CCC-SLP, BCS-S, will examine the dosimetric effects of submandibular gland transfer in patients receiving intensity modulated radiation therapy, as well as the functional effects on such outcomes as salivary flow, dry mouth, swallowing, and quality of life for these patients.
Creating a Novel Simulation-based Education Tool to Improve Radiation Therapy Outcomes in Head and Neck Cancer
This project, led by
James Murphy, MD, aims to create a novel web-based educational application that strives to improve the quality and safety of radiation delivery in head and neck cancer.
Generating a Vaccine for Head and Neck Cancers by Reprogramming Cancer Cells into Dendritic Cells
The purpose of this study, led by
Jack D. Bui, MD, PhD, is to generate a vaccine that closely mimics the cancer cell so that a highly specific immune response can be induced. This high level of specificity will increase the efficacy of the immune response while also limiting any off-target toxicity.
Link to profiles of our physicians who also conduct research: