Researchers funded by Saving Faces awarded Proof of Concept funding (£50,000) from QMUL to develop new technology to better identify head and neck cancers caused by HPV

Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) researcher Professor Ahmad Waseem (Institute of Dentistry) and his team are developing a novel way to identify the increasing number of HPV-driven head and neck cancers. This is vital for improving cancer patient care as HPV related tumours have a much better outcome than those caused by other factors such as alcohol, tobacco or areca nut consumption. Personalisation of treatment using this new technology may also allow for less invasive ‘de-intensified’ treatment strategies with fewer side-effects.

The initial discovery was part of Katarzyna Niemiec’s PhD study (Institute of Dentistry) funded jointly by the Rosetrees Trust and Saving Faces The Facial Surgery Research Foundation but this QMUL Proof of Concept grant is essential for Professor Waseem and his clinical colleagues, Professor Iain Hutchison (Consultant in OMFS, Barts Health and Chief Executive of Saving Faces – The Facial Surgery Research Foundation) and Dr. Anand Lalli (NIHR funded ACL, Institute of Dentistry) to test the new technology against current methods for HPV detection which are significantly more complex, expensive and time-consuming.