The overall objective of the study was to recruit a clinical cohort of 5,000 people with head & neck cancer. The initial plan was to follow up the cohort for two years but this has been extended. The Head & Neck 5000 follow-up study has collected follow-up data for a further 3 - 5 years and we will continue to update information through linkage to national databases until at least 2025. A 10 year questionnaire is also planned.
Specifically, the initial objectives were to:
- Compare morbidity and mortality outcomes across different centres.
- Compare quality of life outcomes across different centres.
- Describe the individual economic cost of head and neck cancer care.
- Identify prognostic indicators for head and neck cancer.
- Create a resource for translational and applied research in head and neck cancer.
We successfully created a clinical cohort of over 5,000 people with head & neck cancer that we are now following up. We have described the centralised multi-disciplinary service in the UK. However, preliminary analysis suggests there is little variation in outcome between centres so we are unlikely to be able to evaluate the impact of centralisation on outcome. We have established an important resource for translational and applied research that is being widely used and that making important contributions to aetiologic and prognostic research.