Report by: Mr Sanjai Sood, Consultant ENT-Head & Neck Surgeon, Bradford Teaching Hospitals, ENT UK Head & Neck Society Council Member.
(L-R) Prof Vinidh Paleri, Mr Jean Pierre Jeannon, Prof Jarrod Homer and Mr Sanjai Sood
The annual Evidence Based Day took place at the Leeds Royal Armouries on the 15 November 2017. With over 100 delegates, this was the best attended Evidence Based Day meeting to date. The meeting was organised by Sanjai Sood on behalf of the Head & Neck Council of ENT UK.
This was a truly multi-disciplinary meeting and all aspects of oropharyngeal carcinoma were comprehensively covered by speakers from various specialties including maxillofacial surgery, histopathology, radiology, oncology and speech and language therapy. This led to a very interesting day with many discussions taking place between the different specialties after each of the presentations with delegates also very much actively contributing to the discussions.
Andrew Schache, OMFS department, Liverpool gave the first academic lecture of the day and provided an excellent overview of the ‘Biology of Oropharyngeal SCC’ which was followed by a comprehensive presentation on ‘Radiology for Orpharyngeal SCC’ by Liz Loney, Durham, who informed the audience of the worrying figure that 70% of Trusts in the UK were outsourcing radiology reporting. Thereafter there were interesting presentations on trans-oral surgery by Prof Vin Paleri, Royal Marsden Hospital, London and ‘Assessment of Resection Margins’ by Max Robinson, Consultant Histopathologist, Newcastle upon Tyne who provided a most entertaining lecture.
The debate between surgical treatment and non-surgical treatment continued into the afternoon with excellent oncology lectures and an MDT type of session chaired by Prof Jarrod Homer. Whilst it was clear that there is a rising incidence of oropharyngeal carcinoma, promising treatments were described including TORS, dysphagia sparing IMRT with the thought that radiotherapy will become more tailored to individuals according to individual susceptibility and the role of immunotherapy. Prof Terry Jones, Liverpool gave an excellent update on current trials in oropharyngeal SCC and we should have some answers to many important questions by 2020 after which there will no doubt be changes to current treatment practices.
Jo Patterson, Speech and Language Therapist, Newcastle upon Tyne, covered the challenges associated with rehabilitation of patients following non-surgical treatment and emphasised the ‘use it or lose it’ mantra in terms of maintaining oral intake throughout radiotherapy treatment. We all know how challenging it can be to treat recurrent oropharyngeal SCC and JP Jeannon, London, gave an excellent overview of surgical options available for such cases.
The meeting was closed by Sanjai Sood, who will be organising next year’s meeting which will again be held in Leeds. Feedback from this meeting has been excellent to date and we hope to see you at the next Evidence Based Day meeting in 2018.