THE MULTIDISCIPLINARY HEAD AND NECK CANCER CENTER




The Head and Neck Surgery Department of the National Institute of Oncology started its activities in 1974 as the first clinical department in Hungary specialized for the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of patients with head and neck cancer. Members of the department were at the frontiers of introducing new surgical techniques and multidisciplinary treatment approaches according to the latest developments in oncology.

The main tasks of the center are:

• Diagnostics, the best available multidisciplinary treatment and follow-up of our patients with the aims of healing, long-term survival and good quality of life
• Search for and introduction of new therapies

Current activities of the center:

Surgery of:Squamous cell cancers of the oral cavity, oropharynx, hypopharynx, larynx; as extended radical removal of the disease as required, if necessary in collaboration with neuro-, or thoracic surgeons, and immediate reconstruction with different types of flaps, according to the site and the missing tissue types of the defect: even 3D virtual planning and printing are available
Thyroid and parathyroid glands; surgeons of our center perform thyroid and parathyroid surgery safely for decades, following the latest international treatment guidelines
Melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers of the head and neck
Diseases requiring surgical removal of abnormal tissues from the orbit and periorbital area
„Rare” head and neck cancers (salivary glands, soft tissue and bone tumors); any surgical procedures on the face including skin cancers or tumors of the parotid gland require knowledge of the anatomy and reconstruction methods of the face and the facial nerve. Surgeons of our center have adequate experience in these operations as well.
Surgical treatment of the regional lymph nodes of the head and neck; neck dissections of different extent, based on international rules, according to the localization, size and histology of the primary tumor.

Medical oncology treatment of squamous cell cancer

Approximately 200 squamous cell cancer patients were treated yearly with chemo-, biological or immunotherapy for 18 years. Our center participated in several international clinical trials, including the landmark TAX 323 and the EXTREME trials that resulted in modification of induction chemotherapy and palliative chemotherapy of head and neck squamous cell cancer, respectively.

Speech and swallowing therapy

Part of the work-up before treatments that may affect the speech and swallowing is the assessment of these functions in order to programmed planning of the pre- and postoperative treatment of the disfunction. Our speech and swallowing specialist keeps these patients under close control.
A „club” with weekly meetings serves the speech rehabilitation of post-laryngectomy patients.

Nursing

High quality nursing of the patients by our well organized nursing staff is a valuable support of the medical efforts to cure. Nurses participate in continuous education, regularly attend conferences, and three of them are qualified with up to the BSc or MSc, and one of them to PhD degree.

Technical support

Two operating theaters in the central operating area belong to the head and neck cancer center in 5 days/week, for performing operations in general anesthesia, with the background of an intensive care unit. Continuously renewing equipment, as video-tower with endoscopes, exploratory and cutting devices, operation microscope, equipment for use in robotic surgery, a new CO2 laser and a new dioda laser with wavelength of 800 nm, a special hybrid high energy cutting device to speed up operations by bloodless cutting, piezo instruments for selective cutting of bones, without damaging soft tissues and nerves.

Education

An important task of our center to educate young doctors of the next generation of head and neck surgeons and oncologists. Our center is accredited for training future otolaryngologists, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, plastic and reconstructive surgeons and clinical oncologists; 3-4 young candidates are regularly supplementing our medical staff for being trained.
Physicians of our center hold positions at the Semmelweis University and the University of Pécs Faculty of Health Sciences as course leaders on Speech and swallowing, BSc nursing and at the doctoral school of Pécs University.
There are 2-3 postgraduate training courses organized yearly for specialists in oncology, as well as public and patient educations to maintain primary prevention and early detection of head and neck cancer. The most recent initiative of our staff was to start a course free of charge in 2018 to help people stop smoking.

Active participation in clinical research

As partners of the Department of Surgical and Molecular Pathology of National Institute of Oncology in the NKFI 105132 research project, the molecular pathologic and immunologic characteristics of head and neck cancers were investigated in the paraffin-embedded tumor tissues of patients from an earlier completed clinical trial.
In another NKFI research project in partnership with the Technical University of Budapest, the diagnostic power of artificial intelligence is investigated in the assessment of pathological changes in speech disorders caused by abnormalities of voice production, or of neural and psychical origin.

Location and Contact

Locations of the center: surgery: in the building No 1, first floor,
medical oncology: in the building No 8, second and fourth floor,
outpatient treatment: in the building „D”, third floor, rooms 225-229
Telephone switchboard of the Institute: 36-1- 224-8600
Extension numbers of the Center: office: 1361 Fax: 36-1-224-8662
nurse station: 1415 or 2447
outpatient clinic: 1368 or 1149 or 3161 or 2741

+36 (1) 224 8600
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