Glasgow Head and Neck Cancer Research Group (GLAHNC)

Our group was established in August 2021 by Dr Claire Paterson (Consultant Clinical Oncologist) and Miss Catriona Douglas (Consultant ENT/Head and Neck Surgeon) with the primary aim of increasing research into Head and Neck Cancer in Glasgow. GLAHNC is one of the seven CRUK RadNet Glasgow focus groups. The group is co-chaired by Dr Paterson and Miss Douglas, with a multi-disciplinary group of core members from across Glasgow who meet quarterly.

GLAHNC main research themes are translational studies, epidemiology studies focused on inequalities and clinical trials, with ongoing studies ranging from lab-based projects to population level studies. Current research projects include:

  • BARITONE – adaptive radiotherapy for advanced oropharyngeal cancer, using MRI scans during treatment to
  • Radiotherapy failure after treatment of oropharyngeal cancer – most patients who have an HPV positive oropharyngeal cancer do very well after treatment however a small subset of these patients go on to develop recurrence of their cancer. This study will examine these patients in more detail to better understand why these patients develop recurrence.
  • The impact of the covid pandemic on head and neck cancer – the pandemic had a significant impact on UK healthcare. This study aims to look at the impact on head and neck cancer patients.
  • HEADSpAcE – Head and Neck Cancer in South America and Europe. This EU funded, WHO-IARC coordinated study is building a multicentre cohort investigating factors associated with late stage head and neck cancer.

GLAHNC also supports young researchers in the field of head and neck cancer and we currently have several research fellows working with the team. Rhona Hurley, ENT registrar, studying for a PhD in Head and Neck cancer and Karen Mactier, Oncology registrar, starting a PhD in radiomics. Grant Creaney, Dental Public Health clinical lecturer / honorary StR and Nick Beacher, Consultant in Special Care Dentistry are both undertaking a PhD in HEADSpAcE study (healthcare systems and oral microbiome). Craig Smith, BDS student, has been funded by the CRUK TRACC programme for a PhD in head and neck cancer risk prediction and Kelten Clements, BDS student, funded by a Carnegie Scholarship is carrying out studies on the impact of COVID-19.

GLAHNC Research Fellows Showcase – March 2024

GLAHNC members enjoyed an afternoon of presentations from several students and trainees who are doing projects with the GLAHNC team. Projects presented ranged from lab projects done as part of an intercalated degree in Head and Neck Surgery, to preliminary results from the HEADSPACE study, to PhD student projects on larynx cancer, oropharyngeal cancer and cancer epidemiology. The afternoon was very informative, with lots of stimulating discussion and new ideas for more head and neck cancer research in the future.