Last updated on August 2018

Patient Evaluation for Head and Neck Surgery Branch Studies


Brief description of study

This purpose of this protocol is to evaluate and identify patients who may be eligible for actively enrolling NIH clinical research protocols for head and neck cancer; or provide standard evaluations and treatment necessary for patients with head and neck cancers enrolled in other NIH clinical protocols that do not include such treatment. Participants screened under this protocol will not be required to join a research study; the decision will be voluntary.

Patients with head and neck cancer may enroll in this study. Participants may undergo various tests, described below, to determine their eligibility for participation in a specific clinical trial. Other tests may also be required, depending on the protocol or treatment for which the patient is being considered:

  • Blood tests About 3 to 5 tablespoons of blood will be drawn for routine tests, HLA typing and hepatitis and HIV screening.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) This imaging procedure uses a powerful magnetic field to produce pictures of parts of the body in small section views. The test does not use radiation and may be done with or without a contrast dye material.
  • Computerized tomography (CT) This procedure uses x-rays to produces three-dimensional images of body organs in small section views. A contrast dye may or may not be used.
  • Positron emission tomography (PET) PET scans allow the doctor to see the activity of cells in specific body tissues. It requires injection of a radioactive material that attaches to a sugar fluid. The fluid goes to very active cells, such as cancer cells, revealing tumors.
  • Pulmonary function tests These tests use a machine the patient breathes into to measure the volume of air the patient can move in and out of the lungs.
  • Arteriogram, or angiogram The anatomy of the blood vessels can be seen using this procedure, which involves placing a small catheter (plastic tube) into an artery and injecting a contrast solution. Special X-rays are then taken to show the blood vessels.
  • Endoscopy This procedure is done to evaluate the mouth and throat. A tube with a light on the end and special fibers is inserted down the throat to allow the surgeon to examine the throat and, if needed, biopsy a piece of tissue for microscopic study. The test is usually done under general anesthesia in the operating room.
  • Biopsy A piece of tissue or tumor is removed for examination under the microscope. When a biopsy is done in the neck area, a small amount of anesthetic is injected into the area of the biopsy. The biopsy may be done with 1) a small needle to pull out some tissue, 2) a cookie-cutter-like instrument to punch out a small piece of tissue, or 3) a small knife to cut out a piece of tissue. A knife biopsy may be done in the operating room or the clinic depending on the location of the biopsy and precautions required.

When the tests are done, the physician will discuss the results with the patient. Patients eligible for a research study will be offered participation. For those not eligible for a study, other therapies will be discussed and the patient will return to the care of his or her primary physician. In special circumstances, patients may be offered standard non-experimental treatment at NIH.

Detailed Study Description

This protocol will provide a means for screening potential candidates for head and neck surgery branch protocols. No investigational treatments will be administered in this protocol. The PI may, however, approve a patient who has been determined to be ineligible for HNSB protocols to undergo standard treatment because they present a unique clinical experience for maintaining skills of HNSB physicians and clinical fellows.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT00011492

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National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, 9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD United States
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