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Keywords:

  • head and neck cancer;
  • head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC);
  • head and neck surgery;
  • neck dissection;
  • radiation therapy;
  • combined modality therapy;
  • concurrent chemotherapy

Abstract

Since the inception of this journal in 1948, the understanding of etiologic factors that contribute to and the treatment of head and neck cancer has evolved dramatically. Advances in surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy have improved locoregional control, survival, and quality of life. The outcomes of these treatment modalities have shifted the focus of curative efforts from radical ablation to preservation and restoration of function. This evolution has been documented in the pages of Cancer for the past 6 decades. This review focuses on the evolution of treatment approaches for head and neck cancer and future directions while recognizing the historic contributions recorded within this journal. Cancer 2008;113(7 suppl):1911–32. © 2008 American Cancer Society.