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University of Iowa News Release

Jan. 11, 2005

NIH Grant To UI Health Care To Help Head And Neck Cancer Patients

Patients receiving treatment for head and neck cancer at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics will have access to a research program designed to evaluate the impact of treatment on their quality of life after treatment.

University of Iowa Health Care researchers recently received a $967,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study the long-term quality of life among patients receiving treatment for head and neck cancer. The grant is a culmination of a longstanding program in the UI Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery to track outcomes among such patients.

This research and the treatment of head and neck cancer patients at the UI is facilitated by a multidisciplinary approach involving specialists in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery, radiation oncology, medical oncology, psychology, nuclear medicine and speech pathology.

"This grant represents the result of building a very strong multidisciplinary clinical and research program involving a number of departments," said Gerry Funk, M.D., the principal investigator for the study and a professor of otolaryngology. "This is clinical research that is designed to evaluate the long-term impact of both surgical and non-surgical treatments for head and neck cancers."

The treatment of head and neck cancers involving the upper aerodigestive tract has traditionally been surgical. Over the past 10 years, there have been tremendous advances made in the use of combined chemotherapy and radiation therapy for selected cancers. Unfortunately, the long-term quality of life impact that these surgical and non-surgical approaches have on quality of life has not been studied in detail.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Marketing and Communications, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room E110 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945,