Yale Head and Neck Cancer SPORE
Yale Cancer Center was awarded a five-year, $11.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to fund the Yale Head and Neck Cancer Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) in 2020. The SPORE program harnesses the strengths of academic cancer centers by bringing together experts in oncology, immunobiology, pharmacology, molecular biology, pathology, epidemiology, and addiction science to collaborate on projects. The goal of the Yale Head and Neck Cancer SPORE is to address critical barriers to treatment of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma due to resistance to immune, DNA damaging, and targeted therapy.
Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is the seventh most common cancer globally. Current treatments are morbid, even for patients who are cured, and there are over 13,000 deaths in the US from HNSCC annually. HPV-negative HNSCC is commonly resistant to DNA damaging therapy, EGFR inhibition and immunotherapy. HPV-associated tumors are highly treatment-responsive, but 20-30 percent recur. Even with immune checkpoint inhibition, the majority of these patients succumb.
The Yale Head and Neck SPORE represents highly translational researchers with deep disease-based expertise who leverage the extraordinary scientific strength at Yale Cancer Center, to improve treatment for patients with this terrible malignancy. Our investigators have significantly impacted the field of HNSCC through training, and translational and clinical research. Basic scientists bring rigorous methodology to bear.