The Benefit of a Multidisciplinary Approach to the Patient Treated with (Chemo) Radiation for Head and Neck Cancer

  • Paolo BossiEmail author
  • Salvatore Alfieri
Head and Neck Cancer (J-P Machiels, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Head and Neck Cancer

Opinion statement

In the past two decades, multidisciplinary care has emerged as new way to manage cancer given the need to gather together specific areas of expertise and to discuss the variety of treatment approaches available for each patient. Of all the cancer subtypes, head and neck cancer might be considered one of the most valid areas, from an oncological point of view, for a multidisciplinary approach to be applied. Head and Neck Cancer is a complex disease area due to its varied histology and subsites, its numerous feasible treatments, its multiple typical comorbidities, and its treatment-induced toxicities whose management requires the simultaneous involvement of several professionals as part of the same health care team. However, the benefits of a multidisciplinary team approach in this particular area have not yet been properly documented in terms of survival outcomes. Moreover, there are some concerns and the limitations of a multidisciplinary team approach for Head and Neck Cancer patients are still open to question: cost-efficiency, the implications from a medical law perspective, the level of expertise required and the timing of each intervention (fixed or as required; before, during or after oncological treatment), and the role of the leader with other interested specialists to optimize all multidisciplinary care mechanisms.


Multidisciplinary team Head and neck cancer Integrated therapeutic approaches 



We gratefully thank Mr. Chris Botterill for his precious work in the linguistic review.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Paolo Bossi has received compensation from Roche, AstraZeneca, and Merck for service on advisory boards.

Salvatore Alfieri declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Head and Neck Medical Oncology DepartmentFondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei TumoriMilanoItaly

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