Translational Studies of Head and Neck Cancer in South America and Europe (HEADSpAcE) is a project funded by the European Union (Grant No 825771) that started in January 2019. It brings together a consortium of 15 partner institutions with a long and successful record of collaboration in the study of head and neck cancer.

Worldwide, more than 550 000 new cases of head and neck cancer occur each year, resulting in approximately 300 000 deaths annually. It is the sixth most common cancer in both Europe and South America. A major reason for the high mortality rate of this cancer is the late stage of diagnosis for many patients. Accurate assessment of the prognosis of head and neck cancer facilitates appropriate treatment decisions.

The impact of HEADSpAcE will be to elucidate reasons for late diagnosis and reduce the proportion of head and neck cancers that are diagnosed at a very late stage. The project aims to identify the most appropriate method of diagnosing cancer caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), and to provide genomic evidence of strong predictors of prognosis that will have the potential to improve care and reduce treatment-related morbidity. Guidelines will be developed for implementation in clinical care.

HEADSpAcE is a unique study that will investigate multiple reasons for the poor prognosis of head and neck cancers, including individual and structural reasons for late diagnosis; the influence of lifestyle, infectious, and genetic factors on poor outcome; and the adherence to clinical guidelines in various settings.

HEADSpAcE is coordinated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the specialized cancer agency of the World Health Organization, and is now open to external investigators with ongoing studies in head and neck cancer epidemiological research.

Visit the page Join the HEADSpAcE consortium to find out more.