Patient Care

Comprehensive Head and Neck Cancer Center


The UC Cancer Institute Comprehensive Head and Neck Cancer Center has a strong collaborative research relationship with clinicians and researchers throughout the institution. Our comprehensive center integrates the expertise of basic scientists from the UC College of Medicine working in molecular genetics, computational biology, cancer biology and environmental health as well as experimental hematology and cancer biology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. 

Clinicians and basic scientists meet regularly to initiate projects integrating basic science and clinical medicine for the benefit of patients with head and neck cancer and to stimulate further research collaborations.

Translational research efforts include:

  • Investigation of mutant genes in head and neck tumors that affect DNA repair and the use of novel drugs such as PARP1 inhibitors to selectively target tumor cells.
  • Whole genome sequencing, bioinformatics and computational biology tools to find targeted candidates for new therapeutics or for drugs that are being used for other purposes.
  • Studying circulating DNA in the blood as a potential non-invasive biomarker for gauging effectiveness of treatment and for early detection of tumor recurrence or metastasis
  • Assessing the functional effects of mutations by 3D modeling of proteins involved in cancer onset or progression to research methods of silencing the mutant proteins reactivating mutant tumor suppressors to prevent cancerous tumors from growing
  • Differences between HPV-infected head and neck cancers and non-HPV infected cancers, with a focus on metabolic changes in tumors and using blood as potential biomarker.

UC Cancer Institute Pilot Grant Program

The UC Cancer Institute Head and Neck Pilot Grant Program is offering two pilot grants of $50,000 each to facilitate research in head and neck cancer. The grants will be awarded for a period of one year with the possibility of a renewal, contingent upon adequate progress and availability of funds.