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The treatment of head and neck cancers poses several challenges in the clinical practice. Next to the safe elimination of the cancer, preservation of functionality is paramount. The restoration of functionality is highly complex due to close proximity to relevant anatomical structures and requires a ...

The treatment of head and neck cancers poses several challenges in the clinical practice. Next to the safe elimination of the cancer, preservation of functionality is paramount. The restoration of functionality is highly complex due to close proximity to relevant anatomical structures and requires a multidisciplinary approach. In advanced tumors, multimodality treatment increases the rate of survival but also leads to a higher occurrence of treatment related side effects. The potential additional survival benefit needs to be balanced against the treatment related side effects. In elderly patients, the quality of life in the course of therapy often determines which modality is chosen. On the other hand, long term treatment related side effects are especially relevant in HPV positive patients due to a better prognosis. Pretreated and frail patients need special considerations since they inherit lower treatment responses in conjunction with a higher probability of side effects. The optimal strategy in these situations has evolved in the last decades due to new treatment modalities becoming available and emerging novel diagnostic methods.

This special edition will provide a comprehensive overview on the challenges in the daily treatment of patients with head and neck cancer. The quality of life and treatment related side effects will be highlighted. Patients groups needing special considerations such as pretreated patients and frail patients will be another focus. The article collection aims to provide detailed analyses of these clinical problems and will derive solution strategies.

Contributions focusing on the epidemiology, pathophysiology, treatment and aftercare in these special situations are encouraged. We welcome original research, reviews, and opinion articles.

Keywords: Treatment related side effects, QoL, multimodality treatment, elderly, frailty


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