Summary of Department
In our department, we mainly treat cancers arising in the head and neck areas, including the oral cavity, nasopharynx, oropharynx, hypopharynx, larynx, nasal & paranasal cavity and thyroid and salivary gland. Since these organs play essential roles in speech, tasting, swallowing and breathing, which are indispensable for social communication and maintenance of life, we are simultaneously pursuing two potentially conflicting goals: patients’ functional organ preservation and their survival.
To this end, we employ a multi-disciplinary treatment policy mainly consisting of the combination of concurrent chemo-radiotherapy (CRT) and function-preserving surgery. For patients with pharyngeal and laryngeal cancer, 40 Gy of CRT is administered first, and the response is evaluated. Good responders continue CRT (i.e. organ preservation), while non-responders undergo surgery. Through this method, which we call “chemoradioselection”, we have achieved some of the best organ preservation and survival rates in the world. For patients with oral cavity and paranasal cavity cancers, surgery is performed as the initial treatment. The large surgical defects left behind in advanced cases are immediately reconstructed using free flaps, which enable cosmetic and functional restoration.