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Head and Neck Steering Committee

The NCI Head and Neck Steering Committee (HNSC) was established in 2007. At monthly meetings, the HNSC addresses the design, prioritization, and evaluation of concepts for phase II and phase III clinical trials in adult head and neck cancers. View the HNSC member roster.

Strategic Priorities

  • HNSC Strategic Priorities were formulated with the goal that the majority of submitted concepts would align with the established priorities.

Task Forces

  • Task forces were established to discuss concepts and make recommendations for clinical trial planning meetings related to:
    • metastatic/recurrent disease
    • previously-untreated, locally advanced disease
    • rare tumors.

Clinical Trial Planning Meetings (CTPMs)

CTPMs are held periodically and focus on specific clinical trial-related topics. The following are important HNSC CTPMs:

  • TP53 Mutated Head and Neck Cancer 
    This CTPM, held in January 2021, was to develop clinical trials for patients with TP53 mutant HNSCC in locally advanced and metastatic recurrent disease with a focus on biomarkers and signal seeking trials that will improve survival and quality of life. Read the executive summary.
  • Naso-Pharyngeal Cancer 
    This CTPM, held in January 2018, focused on developing strategies for the incorporation of immunological agents such as immune checkpoint inhibitors (e.g., anti-CTLA-4 and anti-PD-1 antibodies) into a definitive chemo-radiation treatment of NPC. Read the executive summary and the publication.
  • Immunotherapy in Head and Neck Cancer
    This CTPM, held in November 2014, provided an opportunity to highlight head and neck cancer as a model epithelial malignancy for the investigation of immunotherapy. Several proposals for clinical trials were developed. Read the executive summary and the publication.
  • Optimizing Treatment of Early Stage Thyroid Cancer
    In November 2013 a meeting was held to address appropriate management of early-stage thyroid cancer and consider the roles of active surveillance, immediate surgery, and systemic treatment. Read the executive summary.
  • Transoral Resection of Pharyngeal Cancer
    The focus of this CTPM, held in November 2011, was to address how to further investigate the use of transoral surgery (through the open mouth) in both good and standard risk pharyngeal cancer. Read the executive summary and the publication.
  • Squamous Cell Head and Neck Cancer and HPV
    In November 2008, a meeting was held to focus on the epidemiology, natural history, and diagnosis of HPV-associated squamous cell head and neck cancers. Read the executive summary and State of the Science Monograph. For more about the role of HPV in oropharyngeal cancer, see the Current Oncology Report Human Papillomavirus: Changing Paradigms in Oropharyngeal Cancer.


For more information, contact Mehrdad Mohseni, M.D. at