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Oral Oncol. 2013 Sep;49(9):872-877. doi: 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2013.05.010. Epub 2013 Jul 4.

Consensus recommendations for management of head and neck cancer in Asian countries: a review of international guidelines.

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Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, India.
Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Centre, Guangzhou, China.
Max Multispeciality Hospital, New Delhi, India.
Rsupn Dr. Cipto Mangunkusumo, Indonesia.
St. Luke's Medical Center, Philippines.
Maharaj Nakorn Chiangmai Hospital, Thailand.
Yonsei Cancer Center, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
National University Hospital, Singapore.
Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center, China.
Singapore Oncology Consultants, Singapore.
The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.
Department of Radiation Oncology, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, Taiwan.
National Taiwan University Hospital, Taiwan.
Chulalongkorn University and the King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, Thailand.
Cancer Institute & Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Science, China.
Ho Chi Minh City Oncology Hospital, Viet Nam.
Beacon International Specialist Centre, Malaysia.
MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.
The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong. Electronic address:


Head and neck cancer (HNC) is a disease of the upper aerodigestive tract and is one of the most frequently diagnosed cancers worldwide. A high rate of cancers involving the head and neck are reported across the Asian region, with notable variations between countries. Disease prognosis is largely dependent on tumor stage and site. Patients with early stage disease have a 60-95% chance of cure with local therapy. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment are important to increase the likelihood of cure and survival. However, the majority of patients present with locally advanced disease and require multimodality treatment. This necessitates, a multidisciplinary approach which is essential to make appropriate treatment decisions, particularly with regards to tolerability, costs, available infrastructure and quality of life issues. Unfortunately, majority of the studies that dictate current practice have been developed in the west where diseases biology, patient population and available infrastructure are very different from those in the Asian continent. With this in mind an expert panel of Head and Neck Oncologists was convened in May 2012 to review the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) and the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) clinical practice guidelines and develop practical recommendations on the applicability of these guidelines on the management of head and neck cancer for Asian patients. The objective of this review and consensus meeting was to suggest revisions, to account for potential differences in demographics and resources, to the NCCN and ESMO guidelines, to better reflect current clinical management of head and neck cancer within the Asian region for health care providers. These recommendations, which reflect best clinical practice within Asia, are expected to benefit practitioners when making decisions regarding optimal treatment strategies for their patients.


Asia; Guidelines; Head and neck cancer

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