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Having a multidisciplinary congress like this is very useful. The tracks for the Academic Clinical Programmes sets a standard and creates a platform for interprofessional as well as inter-institutional staff to come together to share on research, education and clinical service advancement.                








~ Prof Celia Tan
Group Director, Allied Health, SingHealth



Programme >

ENT Symposium
Management of Head and Neck Tumours – From Eradicating Disease to Restoring Function


 Track type: Symposium


 Duration: 90 minutes


 Location: Academia, Level 1, L1-S3

Topic 1:

Oropharyngeal Cancer – Bucking the Trend

Dr Harold Heah

Over recent years, the incidence of head and neck squamous cell cancers have been on the decline with greater public awareness of the effects of smoking and drinking. However, cancer of the oropharynx appears to be an exception, with rising incidence and affecting a different demographic from other head and neck malignancies. The emergence of Human Papilloma Virus-related oropharynx cancer has changed the outlook of this disease and resulted in paradigm shifts in how we approach this disease. New technology in robotics has been a new addition to the armamentarium of treatment options we have available to combat this disease.

Topic 2:

Complex Head and Neck Reconstruction

Dr Ong Yee Siang

Complex defects of the head and neck region often involve multiple components like skin, mucosa and bone. The priorities of reconstruction of such defects is to restore functions like speech and swallowing, as well as to maintain acceptable appearances so that the patient can have a reasonable quality of life.
The most common flaps used are anterolateral thigh flap, fibula flap and radial forearm flap. The advantages and disadvantages of each flap is discussed together with some of the technical details. A team-based approach is crucial to the success of such complex operations.

Topic 3: 

How to “Cure” Head and Neck Malignancies: Role of the Medical Oncologist

Dr Amit Jain

Cancers of the head and neck include squamous cell cancers of this region as well as nasopharyngeal cancer that has a distinct disease biology. The mainstay of treatment where disease is localised is the use of loco-regional treatments of surgery and radiation therapy. Dr Jain will first quickly summarise the further role of adjuvant chemotherapy in this context. Cancer immunotherapy, though in infancy, has led to the unprecedented observation of durable responses in a small subset of patients. Some novel immunotherapy strategies including the use of cell-based therapies and immune checkpoint inhibitors have been explored in incurable head and neck cancers. He also will highlight some of these promising new strategies that hope to extend “cure” not only in the context of localised cancers, but also advanced metastatic cancers.

Topic 4: 

Restoring Speech and Swallowing Function after Head and Neck Surgery

Ms Yee Kaisin

Head and neck cancers and their treatment can affect communication and swallowing functions to varying degrees. With greater advancements in cancer treatment, more patients are living longer with the disabling effects of communication and swallowing difficulties, as they strive to get back to work and reintegrate into the community. The role of a speech and language therapist in head and neck cancer has moved beyond traditional swallowing and voice rehabilitation. There is demand now for greater innovation and collaboration across disciplines to achieve the best functional outcomes and quality of life for patients.
We will discuss the potential and barriers to rehabilitation of communication and swallowing function of patients after head and neck surgery. Hence, moving beyond traditional rehabilitation and towards a patient-centred care approach.
*Information is correct at time of update