EVMS Head and Neck Cancer Center brings to patients an experienced, integrated team of caring providers for the management of various head and neck diseases such as:

  • Cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx and larynx
  • Skin cancers
  • Thyroid and parathyroid surgery
  • Salivary gland tumors and disorders
  • Reconstruction and rehabilitation of the head and neck
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Advancing our knowledge

As the sixth most common cancer worldwide, head and neck cancer encompasses an extensive range of specific cancer types:

  • Facial skin cancers
  • Thyroid cancers
  • Salivary gland cancers
  • Cancers of the mouth and throat

In Virginia, more than 800 new cases of oral cancer occur each year with many concentrated in the eastern part of the commonwealth. The American Cancer Society identified seven cancers on the rise, including HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer. Despite the development of new treatments and advances in surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, the prognosis for head and neck cancer has not improved in more than three decades. At the EVMS Leroy T. Canoles Jr. Cancer Research Center, our experts are working to improve these grim statistics.

Discovering the answers that benefit our patients

As both a medical school and health care center, our research allows us to work from bench to bedside and from bedside to bench. We believe this approach will lead to new and effective diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic strategies for head and neck cancer. We start by asking the right questions. What can we do to improve early detection rates, while building our understanding of what causes cancer recurrence? Why do some head and neck cancers resist chemotherapy and radiation? And how can we develop new drugs that fight cancer as it progresses? Finding answers will benefit all patients — even those far beyond Hampton Roads.

Current research projects include:

  • Establishing and building a head and neck cancer tissue database, so we can compare clinical outcomes
  • Evaluating cancer stem cells in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) including human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Using proteomics to pinpoint biomarkers, which can indicate the likelihood of distant metastatic disease after surgery or as a response to chemoradiation
  • Exploiting exosomes to identify new targeted therapy for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma
  • Enrolling patients in national clinical trials, which study both targeted chemotherapeutics and new surgical technologies, such as transoral robotic-assisted procedures

We are stronger together

The EVMS Head and Neck Cancer Initiative is a collaborative effort between the region’s top clinicians, biologists, statisticians and chemists. Created in partnership with the EVMS Leroy T. Canoles Jr. Cancer Research Center, EVMS Otolaryngology and Sentara Healthcare, with additional assistance from Old Dominion University and the College of William & Mary, we’re addressing head and neck cancer’s biggest challenges. Together, we’re leveraging our strengths and building a multi-disciplinary approach that provides the most benefit to our patients.

Our locations

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Head and Neck Cancer Center, Norfolk

River Pavilion
600 Gresham Drive, Suite 1100
Norfolk, VA 23507
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Head and Neck Cancer Center, Princess Anne

Princess Anne, 2075
2075 Glenn Mitchell Drive, Suite 310
Virginia Beach, VA 23456