HNCA News Bulletin

June 2021

Join Us for the 2021 Virtual Head and Neck Cancer Survivorship Symposium

HNCA and the American Head and Neck Society (AHNS) are pleased to announce the 2021 Virtual Head and Neck Cancer Survivorship Symposium. Join us in July as we offer a series of webinars, a virtual survivor gathering with breakout sessions, and access to the AHNS conference’s opening keynote talk presented by renowned chef and head and neck cancer survivor, Grant Achatz. Registration opens in June!


TUESDAY, JULY 20, 2021

Webinar: Radiation Fibrosis
3:00 – 4:00 PM ET

Moderator: Nicole Schmidt, MD, FACS, Emory University Hospital, Winship Cancer Institute

Medical Presenter: Andrew Coughlin, MD, Creighton University

Survivor Presenter: TBD

Webinar: Stretching
4:00 – 5:00 PM ET

Nicole Fowler, MD, FACS, University Hospitals

Medical Presenter:
Barbara Murphy, MD, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Survivor Presenter: TBD



Webinar: Difficulty Swallowing (Dysphagia)
3:00 – 4:00 PM ET

Moderator: Vilija Vaitatis, MD, 
Medical University of South Carolina

Medical Presenter:
Katherine A. Hutcheson, Ph.D., 
University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center

Survivor Presenter: TBD

Webinar: Laryngectomy Support
4:00 – 5:00 PM ET

Danielle MacNeil, MD, MSc, FRCS(C), London Health Science Centre

Medical Presenter:
Daniel G. Deschler, MD,
Harvard Medical School

Heather Starmer, MA CCC-SLP, BCS-S, Stanford University

Survivor Presenter:
John Ready, President, Get Voicing

Survivorship Gathering 
(Breakout Sessions)
5:15 - 6:15 PM ET


  • Alternative/Complementary Therapies
  • Life After Head and Neck Cancer
  • Nutrition
  • Oral Care: Before, During and After Treatment
  • Psychological Issues in the Survivorship Period: Strategies for Recognizing Negative Thinking/Addressing Fear of Recurrence


Opening Ceremony featuring Grant Achatz
9:00 – 10:15 AM ET

Chef Grant Achatz is one of the most awarded and recognized chefs in the world. Known for his innovative, emotional, and modernist style of cuisine he has been named Best Chef in the United States by the James Beard Foundation, honored by Time Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World, and has given talks and lectures on gastronomy and design at conferences and universities around the world. In 2004 Grant began building his dream restaurant, Alinea. Partnering with restaurant neophyte Nick Kokonas they sought to redefine fine dining in America, questioning not only culinary concepts but also the guest experience, tableware design, and restaurant bookings.


Re-learning to Talk, Swallow, and Eat: A Caregiver's Perspective

By Allison Breininger, HNCA Caregiver Ambassador (Saint Paul, MN)

By the time my husband, Sean, was diagnosed with tongue cancer, he had already lived through a bone marrow transplant. While it was terrifying to now have a diagnosis with “cancer” in the title, he had been brought right up to death’s door during the transplant process and lived to tell the tale, which left me naively thinking that we could handle whatever else was thrown at us. 

Caregiver Needs

HNCA and the American Head and Neck Society thank Allison and our other amazing panelists for participating in our Caregiver Needs webinar on May 4. If you missed the session, it is now available to be viewed online. 


Mental Health Awareness Month: Resources to Support HNC Patients and Survivors

Statistics have shown that head and neck cancer patients and survivors are twice as likely to be at risk of suicide than other individuals with cancer. In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance wishes to remind head and neck cancer survivors, patients and caregivers, that you are not alone. Supportive resources are available to help you through your cancer journey.


HPV-Attributed Head and Neck Cancer: A New Treatment on the Horizon

By Dr. Lauren V. Wood, Chief Medical Officer of PDS Biotech

Hearing from your doctor that the cancer you’ve been fighting has returned or spread, is a challenging situation for patients and their families. There are many questions, the most important being “what do we do now?” The treatment options you discuss with your doctor may include both traditional therapies and investigational therapies that are available through a clinical trial. Clinical trials use new medicines that are being studied to better control or eliminate cancer.


Thank You to the Organizers and Supporters of the 12th Annual Smash Cancer Tennis Tournament

HNCA sends its sincere thanks to all of the sponsors and participants for their support of the 12th annual Smash Cancer tennis tournament. We extend an extra-special thank you to tournament organizer Christine Tatum, and her team in Wilmington, NC, for their flexibility, dedication, and persistence in ensuring the tournament could move forward despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Smash Cancer is an annual fundraiser started by The Howard Family, who lost both of their parents to head and neck cancer. Since its inception, Smash Cancer has donated over $100,000 to the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance. These funds directly support our Gas Card Program, which provides gasoline gift cards to help head and neck cancer patients get to and from treatments. The Gas Card Program supports hundreds of patients each year, and we couldn’t do it without the wonderful support of Smash Cancer.


Upcoming Webinars


Learn How to Make an Impact on Xerostomia (Dry Mouth) Treatments
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM ET

This one-hour webinar will provide an overview of the FDA drug development process as well as the value of Patient-Focused Drug Development (PFDD) meetings. We hope this webinar will spike your interest in being part of this important virtual meeting for the xerostomia community taking place on Thursday, August 19, 2021.

Patient-Focused Drug Development meetings are a way to hear from and learn from patients and families about what it is like to live with xerostomia. This information will eventually be used when new treatments are being developed to treat xerostomia. No one understands what it is like to live with xerostomia except you! Please join us and learn how your voice can contribute to this discussion.

Meeting ID: 819 4326 9355

Passcode: june

What's New in Clinical Trials and Research Studies
*Sponsor Content | Learn HNCA's stance on corporate support below.

HNCA’s work would not be possible without our sponsors and partners. Please see below to learn more about our partners and the clinical trials that are underway to help head and neck cancer patients. For more information about clinical trials and where to find trials that might apply to you or a loved one, visit our Clinical Trials page.


Rakuten Medical’s global Phase 3 multi-center clinical trial with ASP-1929 to evaluate its efficacy and safety in patients with recurrent head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. ASP-1929 photoimmunotherapy is a combination drug and device anticancer treatment that utilizes a cetuximab monoclonal antibody conjugated to a photoactivatable dye that can be excited upon localized nonthermal 690 nm red light illumination to induce rapid cell death of target tumor cells. In the ASP-1929-301 study, enrolled patients will be randomized in a 2:1 fashion to receive either ASP-1929 photoimmunotherapy or physician’s choice standard of care (methotrexate, docetaxel, paclitaxel or cetuximab). The study is actively enrolling in 3 regions: Taiwan, Japan and the United States. Identifier: NCT03769506

*Statement on Sponsor Content and Corporate Support: The information published on this website and in our materials is intended to educate you about Oral, Head and Neck Cancer. The content is not intended to take the place of a discussion with a qualified physician who is familiar with your medical situation. It is important to remember that each individual is different, and the reasons for—and outcomes of—any treatment plan depends on the patient's individual condition. If you have questions or concerns after reading any information on this website or in our materials, you should discuss them openly and honestly with your physician. Any products and manufacturers included on this site are presented for informational purposes only and do not constitute product approval or endorsement by HNCA. The content provided by HNCA is in no way intended to be a substitute for medical consultation with a qualified professional. HNCA encourages those using its resources to be careful when evaluating medical information or products. If you are unsure about your medical condition, consult a physician. Funding from our corporate partners supports HNCA’s programs and educational initiatives, and HNCA maintains independence in its design of programs, content, and initiatives.

Thank You to our Corporate and Community Partners


Head and Neck Cancer Alliance
PO BOX 21688  | Charleston, South Carolina 29413
866-792-4622 |

Follow Us

Be sure to add our email address to your address book or safe senders list so our emails get to your inbox.

Having trouble viewing this email? View it in your web browser

Unsubscribe or Manage Your Preferences