The treatment of head and neck cancers—such as oral, oropharyngeal, pharyngeal, laryngeal, nasal, thyroid, skin, and sinus cancers and salivary gland tumors—often requires more than one approach.

At John Theurer Cancer Center, part of Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, a team of experts will customize your treatment, offering surgery, several types of radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and supportive services—all conveniently located in one medical center. Our therapies are based on the latest findings of medical research, and we create your treatment plan based on your personal needs and preferences. We also offer a comprehensive clinical trials program, featuring studies evaluating new innovative approaches that could be effective when standard treatments fail.

A Personalized Treatment Plan

While our number-one goal is to cure your cancer, we also understand that your ability to eat, speak, and enjoy your life is also of paramount importance. We take these factors into account when assessing your treatment. We present all of your treatment options and explain their possible side effects so you can choose the therapies that are best for you. Your doctors will thoroughly explain your choices and help you make an informed decision. We also do our best to bring your treatment planning team together in one day so you can meet with everyone during a single visit to our center.

State-of-the-Art Therapies for Head and Neck Cancer

Your treatment may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and/or immunotherapy. We use minimally invasive surgical approaches whenever appropriate, including transoral robotic surgery (performed through your mouth) and voice-preserving surgery for laryngeal cancer. Our team includes one of the few surgeons in New Jersey who perform surgery for laryngeal cancer. We also offer pinpoint external radiation therapy—including TomoTherapy®, and stereotactic body radiosurgery for some patients—finely targeting tumor tissue while sparing as much nearby healthy tissue as possible. Chemotherapy and immunotherapy are given in our modern and comfortable infusion suite.

Chemoradiation in One Location

Many people with head and neck cancers receive both radiation therapy and chemotherapy over the same period of time. At John Theurer Cancer Center, you can often receive these treatments on the same day in the same building—for example, chemotherapy and radiation therapy on a Monday, followed by daily radiation therapy Tuesday through Friday. We know your time is valuable and we understand the time commitment that you make to receive cancer treatment, and we do our best to provide your treatment as conveniently as possible.

Taking Aim at Head and Neck Cancers with Radiation

Radiation therapy is an effective way to treat head and neck cancers, but can cause side effects such as dry mouth and swallowing problems. Radiation oncologists and medical physicists have refined radiation delivery techniques over the years to learn how to deliver more focused, high-intensity radiation directly to tumor tissue while sparing nearby healthy tissue.

The Department of Radiation Oncology at John Theurer Cancer Center is the region’s most comprehensive radiation treatment center and provides every advanced treatment modality available in the field today for head and neck cancers. You may be able to benefit from helical TomoTherapy® radiation therapy, which we use to deliver a very sophisticated form of intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). This integrated treatment system is unlike any other and gives you unparalleled accuracy, precision, and safety.

John Theurer Cancer Center is one of just a few facilities in New Jersey where you can receive TomoTherapy, which integrates treatment planning, patient positioning, and treatment delivery into one unique system. The radiation oncologist obtains a CT scan to localize your tumor before each treatment, and then delivers painless and precise radiation therapy based on a carefully customized plan. This double-checking process is particularly useful for targeting parts of the body that can move from day to day, and takes into account tumor shrinkage over time as you go through your treatment by adjusting the size of the radiation field as tumors get smaller, so we can reduce side effects.

Visit the John Theurer Cancer Center Radiation Oncology Division

Our Head and Neck Oncology Specialists

Is Transoral Robotic Surgery an Option for You?

Hackensack University Medical Center is the only hospital in the state with three Da Vinci Xi robotic surgery systems.  Our Multispecialty Center of Excellence for Robotics is one of the three largest robotic surgery programs in the New York Metropolitan area and achieves the highest volume of minimally invasive cancer procedures in New Jersey. Our head and neck team includes three surgeons who are among the few in the country certified to perform transoral robotic surgery (TORS) to remove select head and neck cancers through the mouth, leaving you with no visible incisions or scars.

If you have early-stage to mid-stage cancer of the throat, oropharynx, or tongue, you may be eligible to undergo TORS. During the procedure, the surgeon sits at a console and operates the robotic tools, which are carefully placed in your mouth by operating room staff. The robotic system gives your surgeon an unparalleled three-dimensional magnified view of your mouth and throat and the ability to remove the cancer with extraordinary precision and control. Your treatment team will let you know if TORS is an option for you.

Our Robotic Center of Excellence

Clinical Trials of Promising Treatments

John Theurer Cancer Center has one of the region’s most expansive portfolios of cancer clinical trials for head and neck cancers, including those assessing new immunotherapies (treatments that boost the power of the immune system to find and kill cancer cells). We have a dedicated program for Phase I clinical trials—the earliest stage of a new drug’s assessment in patients. In fact, John Theurer Cancer Center has the highest number of early-phase clinical trials in New Jersey. You may be able to receive an innovative therapy, including investigational drugs that other centers do not offer.