Researcher receives £28K grant to assess head and neck cancer patients

A researcher from the University’s Institute of Translational Medicine has received a grant worth in excess of £28K to assess the experiences, unmet needs and healthcare service usage of patients with advanced head and neck cancer with the aim of improving the future of care.

The Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (LCCG) Research Capability Funding (RCF) provided the grant to Dr Catriona Mayland, Consultant in Palliative Medicine and Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer, following a successful application.

Head and neck cancer is a group of cancers that starts within the mouth, nose, throat, larynx, sinuses, or salivary glands. Often head and neck cancer is curable if detected early; however, outcomes are typically poor if detected late.

Treatment usually includes a combination of surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. Following treatment of one head and neck cancer people are at higher risk of a second cancer.

Complex palliative care

Of her research Dr Mayland said: “There have been a number of research studies looking at different models of providing palliative care to advanced cancer patients, but none specifically focused on head and neck cancer.

“This group of patients have especially complex palliative care needs. Additionally, it is recognised there are a group of patients with potentially curative disease, complex supportive care needs and a high risk of disease recurrence. The optimal way of integrating palliative care into the care pathway is yet to be established. “

The study, entitled ‘Living with and dying from advanced head and neck cancer: an exploratory qualitative study assessing experiences, unmet needs and health service usage’, will begin in January 2017 and is expected to take 18 months to complete.

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