Program Content/Format

The 2020 Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancers Symposium is a two-and-a-half-day meeting featuring interactive and case-based educational sessions that cover new multidisciplinary therapies, imaging, immunotherapy, treatment guidelines and supportive care in head and neck cancer. A major focus is placed on the multidisciplinary nature of disease management and the incorporation of all treatment modalities to achieve best outcomes. Oral abstract and poster sessions will highlight cutting-edge science and evidence-based practice. Attendees will be able to examine multidisciplinary approaches for treating head and neck cancer, as well as novel therapies that show promise in improving outcomes.

Statement of Need

The management of head and neck cancer is rapidly evolving with newer modality of treatment available to patients. This includes minimally invasive surgery, newer radiation targeting techniques, novel targeted therapy and immunotherapy. In addition, the re-classification of patients with locoregionally advanced human papilloma (HPV)+ oropharyngeal carcinoma into earlier stage groups have engendered some confusion surrounding treatment planning. Many large clinical trials are maturing to establish new treatments or standard of care in head and neck cancer patients. It is imperative that the medical professionals involved in the care of head and neck cancer patients remain current in the expanding knowledge of this cancer. This meeting provides attendees the opportunity to gain exposure to the latest science in head and neck cancer. Attendees need to determine when and how the latest science will affect their day-to-day practice, and thus be able to narrow competency gaps across the management of different head and neck cancer subtypes and stages.

Program Objectives

Upon completion of this live activity, attendees should be able to:

  1. Explain the importance of multidisciplinary care in head and neck cancer and how to best apply it for optimal outcomes.
  2. Describe key advances in systemic therapy, including targeted therapy and immunotherapy in head and neck cancer.
  3. Discuss recent advances in minimally invasive surgery in head and neck cancer and when to apply it in treating early and locally advanced disease.
  4. Describe key advances in radiation therapy delivery, targeting and differences between various modalities, including novel treatment approaches such as proton and FLASH radiotherapy.
  5. Explain the recent changes in the staging system for head and neck cancer and whether they impact management of certain head and neck cancer subtypes.
  6. Discuss complex cases in head and neck cancer and how to best utilize current knowledge for decision-making.
  7. Manage toxicities related to the management of head and neck cancer.
  8. Summarize key recent advances in head and neck cancer biology.
  9. Summarize key recent advances in head and neck cancer imaging.
  10. Discuss and implement standard treatment guidelines for various subtypes of head and neck cancers.

Elements of Competence

This educational forum has been designed to narrow the competency gaps of: 

  • Patient Care
  • Medical Knowledge
  • Practice-based Learning and Improvement
  • Interpersonal Skills and Communication
  • Professionalism
  • Systems-based Practice
  • Patient-centered Care
  • Work in Interdisciplinary Teams
  • Evidence-based Practice
  • Quality Improvement
  • Professional Standing
  • Commitment to Lifelong Learning
  • Cognitive Expertise
  • Values/Ethics for Interprofessional Practice
  • Roles/Responsibilities
  • Interprofessional Communication
  • Teams and Teamwork
These are 17 of the 19 core competencies embraced by the American Board of Medical Specialties, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, the Institute of Medicine, the American Board of Radiology and the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education.

Target Audience

This meeting is designed to meet the interests of medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgeons, physicists, nurses, diagnostic radiologists, pathologists, radiation therapists, radiation dosimetrists, scientists, dentists, oral surgeons, swallowing and speech therapists, audiologists, physical therapists, immunologist and rehabilitation specialists.

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