Clinical Innovation Research Head and Neck Cancer

Spector Lectureship adds research symposium

photo of Hayes presenting at Spector Lectureship
Neil Hayes, MD, presents to a full audience at the 2022 Spector Lectureship.

The Department of Otolaryngology at Washington University celebrated the 5th annual Spector Lectureship in the Biology of Cancer on April 20. Invited guest speaker Neil Hayes, MD, presented a summary and new thoughts on the roles of cisplatin and HPV in head and neck cancer.

The Spector Lectureship celebrates the career of Gershon Spector, MD, professor emeritus of the Department of Otolaryngology. Spector was proud to once again attend the event.

photo of Drs. Hayes and Spector
Neil Hayes, MD (left), with J. Gershon Spector, MD, at the 2022 Spector Lectureship in the Biology of Cancer.

“The endowed lectureship in my name is a great honor bestowed on me by my former residents and colleagues,” he said. “It highlights the latest research, innovations, and technology that bear on the study of tumor biology. Our department continues to expand its leadership role in this important area.”

Hayes serves as assistant dean for Cancer Research, director of the Center for Cancer Research, chief of the Division of Hematology & Oncology, and the Van Vleet Endowed Professor in the Department of Medicine at University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

In an effort to more fully celebrate advancements in head and neck surgical oncology, this year’s event was expanded to include presentations of relevant case studies and a research symposium featuring the work of local faculty, fellows, residents and graduate students.

Case studies were offered by ENT residents Will Strober, MD, Sabina Dang, MD, Ben Wahle, MD, and Jake Lee, MD, providing Hayes the opportunity to share his perspectives on treatment and outcomes of the cases.

The research symposium featured 10 short presentations highlighting recent advances in technology, basic science and clinical outcomes:

photo of Drs. Hayes and Puram
Hayes discusses patient treatment options with head and neck surgeon and WashU faculty member Sid Puram, MD, PhD.
  • Sid Puram, MD, PhD: “Hybrid E/M States and Immune Exclusion in Head and Neck Cancer”
  • David Lee, MD: “Secondary Analysis of Hearing Outcomes in Non-Randomized De-Escalated Trial for HPV-Related Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma”
  • Theresa Tharakan, MD: “Taste in Oropharyngeal Tumors”
  • Nathan Wamsley: “Targeted Proteomics to Quantify the NRF2 Pathway and Immuno-Oncology Biomarkers in Head and Neck Cancer”
  • Noah Earland: “Detection of Postoperative Locoregional Miminal Residual Disease After Through Analysis of Tumor- Associated Cell Free DNA In Surgical Drain Fluid In Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma”
  • Paul Zolkind, MD: “Targeting NRF2 in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinomas”
  • Miriam Jacobs, MD: “Applications of memory-like natural killer cells for Head and Neck Cancer Immuno Therapy”
  • Wade Thorstad, MD: “Manuscripts Regarding De-Intensification of RT Dose/Volume and Associated Improvement in Patient Reported Outcomes Over the Last 20 Years”
  • Amish Khan: “Association of Sarcopenia Assessed by Computerized Tomography Scan of the Neck with Survival in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma”
  • Matthew Inkman, PhD: HPV Genomics Tools: HPV-EM & Integrate

John B. Kimbrough Endowed Chair and division Chief of Head and Neck Surgery Jose Zevallos, MD, MPH, found the research symposium to be a great addition to the lectureship.

“We were thrilled to welcome Dr. Hayes to participate in the Spector Research Symposium,” he said. “This event allowed us to highlight the remarkable depth and breadth of head and neck cancer research at Washington University and promote new collaborations across the institution.”