Head & Neck Cancer

The head and neck cancer research division is a leading group of investigators in both basic and translational cancer research. The group includes Dr. Basu, Dr. Brose and Dr. Robertson. Importantly, the group is currently in a building phase with ongoing recruitments to the department in the basic and translational science space. Dr. Basu seeks to establish novel approaches for lasting control of the most aggressive and treatment-refractory head and neck cancers. His work has pursued how multiple discrete subpopulations of malignant cells within a single tumor cooperatively resist therapy via both tumor cell autonomous mechanisms and crosstalk with the stromal microenvironment. Dr. Basu is also developing Patient Derived Xenographs (PDX) animal models for intervention studies in head and neck cancers. Dr. Brose is identifying novel treatments for patients with advanced thyroid cancer. She leads the Thyroid Cancer Therapeutics program at the Abramson Cancer Center. She currently treats between 75 and 100 patients with advanced thyroid cancer every month in the context of clinical trials, and where no trial is available, with FDA approved agents. The goal of her research is to elucidate the activity of pioglitazone in patients with metastatic/recurrent PPFP (PAX8-PPARgamma translocation) follicular thyroid cancer that has been documented by CT scan to be progressive over the prior 14 months by RECIST criteria, is resistant to radioiodine, and is not amenable to surgical cure. Dr. Robertson has an active basic and translation research laboratory with the goal of elucidating the molecular mechanisms linked to oncogenesis mediated by viral agents. The objective is to identify critical pathways activated that can be targeted in associated cancers through active identification of lead compounds for therapeutic interventions. This division actively engages with other clinical faculty including Drs. O’Malley, Newman, Weinstein and Chalian.

Head & Neck Cancer Research Physicians


Click here for an additional video of Dr. Brose discussing Head and Neck Cancer Research.

Our long-term goal is to strengthen the research program across the divisions in our department to foster greater synergies between basic and clinical investigators and the transition of our findings to potential therapeutic avenues for head and neck pathologies.