Head & Neck

Head and neck cancers generally start in the lining of the mouth, nose, throat or voice box.

Peter Mac’s Head and Neck service is one of the largest services in Australia.  It delivers world-class cancer care, backed by an uncompromising commitment to research, clinical trials and evidence-based practice to ensure the best possible outcome for all its patients.  It also has a strong focus on cancer education for training specialists and all medical staff.

The unit consists of a range of experts in head and neck cancer surgery, radiation oncology, medical oncology, maxillofacial surgery, plastics and reconstructive surgery, specialist radiology, pathology, cancer nursing, dietetics, speech pathology, psychology and social work.

The service is proud of its longstanding partnerships with many Head and Neck surgical institutions across Victoria and is able to deliver Radiotherapy services, dependant upon complexity, at Melbourne, Moorabbin, Box Hill, Sunshine and Bendigo to optimise access to all Victorians. 

Every patient seen at Peter Mac is discussed in a multi-disciplinary meeting to ensure the best possible treatment recommendation is made.  This recommendation may involve surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy either alone or in combination. 

We are here to support you and to provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision about your care.

Like all Peter Mac’s tumour streams, the Head & Neck Service is a collaboration with clinical partners, providing coordinated and comprehensive cancer care. With Peter Mac having moved to the Melbourne VCCC building, the surgical service is planned to coordinate with the Head and Neck Surgical Service of the Royal Melbourne Hospital. The service is proud to offer world-class care in at its new state of the art facility.



Salivary gland tumours
Thyroid and parathyroid tumours
Skull Base Tumours
Oral cavity (Mouth)
Oropharynx (Tonsil, Base of Tongue, Soft Palate)
Hypopharynx and Cervical Oesophagus
Nasal Cavity and Sinuses
Sarcomas of the Head and Heck
Unknown Primary Cancer of the Head and Neck

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Peter Mac – Melbourne

For New Referrals

All new referrals are triaged and allocated to an individual consultant who will be in charge of that case throughout investigation and treatment. All new referrals will be seen within one week.

  • Tuesday morning Consultant clinics for Head and Neck Cancer Surgery, Radiation Oncology and Medical Oncology
  • Thursday morning Consultant clinics for Head and Neck Radiation and Medical Oncology
  • Multidisciplinary meeting occurs each Tuesday morning

Peter Mac – Moorabbin

  • Radiation Oncology - by appointment Monday – Friday

Clinical Trials

We have a strong focus on clinical research to enable us to improve care for not only for our patients but all patients with head and neck cancer.  Every cancer patient is at the heart of what we do. Dedicated to you, we commit and pursue state-of-the-art research that we link from bench to bedside and beyond.

Accruing prospective trials include: 

  • AIM-HN / SEQ-HN (TIFARNIB) - International open-label, 2 cohort, non-comparative, study evaluating the efficacy of tipifarnib in HRAS mutant HNSCC (AIM-HN).
    • First cohort (AIM-HN): assess the objective response rate (ORR) of Tipifarnib in subjects with HNSCC with HRAS mutations.
    • Second cohort (SEQ-HN): Observational sub-study and includes 2 types of patients: (1) the historical record of first line therapy in subjects with HRAS mutant HNSCC participating in Cohort 1 in whom first line outcome data are available and (2) matched control HNSCC patients in whom HRAS mutations were not identified (wild type HRAS HNSCC) and who consent to provide first line outcome data and additional follow up.
  • C-POST: A randomised, placebo-controlled, double blind study of adjuvant cemiplimab after surgery and radiation therapy in patients with high risk cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma.
  • DECIBEL – A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicentre study to evaluate the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of repeated doses of DB-020 in patients receiving cisplatin to evaluate if intratympanic thiosulfate may reduce cisplatin induced ototoxicity.
  • DRAIN REMOVAL POST NECK DISSECTION - A RANDOMISED CONTROLLED TRIAL: This study is evaluating the possibility of safe, early removal of drainage tubes after neck surgery which allows earlier discharge from hospital.
  • INDUCE 4 - A randomised, double-blind, phase II/III study of an ICOS agent with pembrolizumab and 5FU-platinum chemotherapy vs. Placebo with pembrolizumab and 5FU-platinum chemotherapy for first-line treatment of recurrent/metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. 
  • INTERLINK 1 - Randomised, double-blind, multi-centre, global Phase 3 study to assess the efficacy and safety of monalizumab and cetuximab, compared to placebo and cetuximab, in patients with recurrent or metastatic head and neck cancer, who had prior immune checkpoint inhibitor and platinum-based chemotherapy treatment.
  • LASH - Longitudinal assessment of sexual health  in patients undergoing radiotherapy for HPV associated oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma.
    • LIBRETTO-531: Multicentre, randomised, phase III trial comparing LOXO-292 to physicians choice of cabozantinib or vandetanib in progressive, advanced, kinase inhibitor naive , RET-mutant medullary thyroid cancer.
    • MYPHISMO: Phase I clinical trial of a combine immune modulatory approach using a MYB vaccine and a PD1 antibody in patients with colorectal and adenoid cystic carcinoma.
    • NEOADJUVANT CEMIPLIMAB: A Phase 2 Study of neoadjuvant Cemiplimab (3 weekly) prior to surgery for Stage II to IV (M0) cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC) with a primary objective to assess the pathologic complete response rate.
    • REGENERON (REGN2810) Group 6: Study in patients with advanced cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC). In Group 6, the primary objective is to provide additional efficacy and safety data for Cemiplimab monotherapy in patients with advanced CSCC (metastatic [nodal or distant] or locally advanced.

    If you would like to participate or have questions about clinical trials, speak to your specialist.

    Find out more about participating in clinical research at Peter Mac


    For patients

    You will need a referral from your GP, Medical Practitioner, Dentist or Dental Specialist to access this service.

    Please bring all relevant pathology and radiology images and results that your referrer has arranged for you to your appointment.

    For health professionals

    See referrals for more information.

    Please attach all relevant reports and diagnostic information to facilitate faster and accurate triaging.