Head and neck cancers are the fifth among the most common cancers in France. Two thirds of cases occur at an advanced stage. For advanced disease, progression-free survival, despite undeniable progress, remains below 50% at three years. The last 20 years have been marked by the necessity to identify situations where less intense surgery and/or radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy is possible without jeopardizing the prognosis, and situations where a therapeutic intensification is necessary and results in a gain in survival while better preserving function with less toxicity. French cooperative groups gathering radiation oncologists (GORTEC), surgeons (GETTEC) and medical oncologists or physicians involved in the management of systemic treatments in head and neck cancers (GERCOR) are now belonging to the INCa-labelled Intergroup ORL to deal with the challenges of head and neck cancers.
Keywords: cancer; chemotherapy; head and neck; radiation therapy; surgery.