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A study looking at the care of people with head and neck cancer (Head and Neck 5000)

Please note - this trial is no longer recruiting patients. We hope to add results when they are available.

This study is to see how well services work for people with a head and neck cancer.

In the United Kingdom, services caring for people with cancer of the head and neck are changing so that there are fewer, larger centres.  These centres need to make sure that they give the best service possible to more people, spending the money for this as wisely as possible.  

Researchers in this study want to see how well these new services are working.  They will ask 5,000 people with newly diagnosed head and neck cancer about their lives, including their backgrounds, lifestyle and quality of life, as well as their experience of cancer.  They hope that this will help them

  • Understand more about head and neck cancer
  • See how they can improve care for people with a head and neck cancer

The main aim of this study is to look at how well these larger ‘centralised’ services work.


Start 01/04/2011
End 31/12/2014



Who can enter

You may be able to enter this study if you

  • Have recently been diagnosed with a head and neck cancer
  • Are being cared for by one of the hospitals taking part

You cannot enter this study if

  • Your head and neck cancer is a type of lymphoma
  • Your cancer did not start in your head or neck
  • You have had treatment for your head and neck cancer, but it has come back

Trial design

This study will recruit 5,000 people.  Everyone will give some samples for the study and fill out a series of questionnaires.  

The first questionnaire will ask you about

  • Where you live, your education and any work you do
  • Your lifestyle, for example whether you smoke or drink

The study nurse will then ask if you would be willing to fill out a questionnaire about your sexual history.  You can complete this either at the clinic or at home.  The study team will then give you more questionnaires to fill out at home, and return in the prepaid envelope.  These questionnaires will cover areas such as

  • Your mental health
  • Your quality of life in general, and how it has been affected by your cancer

If you take part in Bristol, you will also take home another quality of life study and questions asking what you think about how you look, and about any difficulties in your life.

At 4 and 12 months after this, the team will send you some more questionnaires to fill out at home, and again return in the prepaid envelope.  Each set of questionnaires should take about 45 minutes to complete.

You will also give a small sample of blood and spit (saliva) when you join the study.  This will let the team look at the link between certain genes and cancer.  And, to see if lifestyle or infection may have any effect on the development of cancer.  

The study team will ask if they can study some of the tissue taken when you were diagnosed, which will have been routinely stored by the hospital. They will also ask your permission to link any information you give them to your medical records. They will treat any information confidentially, so no one will be able to link the results to you.

Hospital visits

You will not need to make any extra visits to hospital to take part in this study.

Side effects

You should not have any side effects as a result of taking part in this study.

Location of trial


For more information

Please note: we cannot help you to join a specific trial. Unless we state otherwise in this trial summary, you need to print this page and take it to your own doctor to discuss.

Find out how to join a trial or contact our cancer information nurses for other questions about cancer by phone (0808 800 4040), by email, or at

The Information Nurses
Cancer Research UK
Angel Building
407 St John Street

Chief Investigator

Professor Andy Ness

Supported by

Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust
University of Bristol
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Updated: 31 December 2014