Head and neck cancer complex surgery chemotherapy research trials

About the Head and Neck Service

The Head and Neck Service at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse brings together over 40 highly skilled medical and allied health professionals including surgeons, radiation and medical oncologists, dental specialists, speech therapists, specialist nurses and dietitians, along with research scientists and data managers. The Service has a national and international reputation for excellence.

The Sydney Head and Neck Cancer Institute (SHNCI), founded in 2002 by the late Professor Christopher O’Brien AO to provide comprehensive, state-of-the-art treatment to patients with cancers and diseases of the head and neck, is also an important part of the Head and Neck Service providing funding for two head and neck clinical fellows each year.

Find out more about the SHNCI Clinical Fellowships and Chris O’Brien Travelling fellowship.

Annual review
Read the 2016 Head and Neck Annual Review



Head and neck cancer is a group of more than ten types of cancer that originate in the head and neck region. We have a range of multidisciplinary clinics for the investigation and treatment of head and neck cancers, including in rural and regional New South Wales.

Chris O'Brien Lifehouse Front Entrance

Meet our team

Our team consists of members of the departments of Radiation Oncology and Medical Oncology, as well as the allied services.


Medical oncologists

Radiation oncologists

Nurses and allied health team

Research team


Patient Information

Find out more about head and neck. Read more >

Information Booklets

dr carsten palem with patient

Treatment types

A number of treatment options and combinations are recommended for cancer. Read more >


The Sydney Head and Neck Cancer Institute (SHNCI) is a multi-institutional research organisation led by the head and neck service at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse. It includes researchers from the department of anatomical pathology and diagnostic oncology at Royal Prince Alfred (RPA) Hospital, The University of Sydney, The RPA-Institute of Academic Surgery, and the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute.

Chris O’Brien Lifehouse is the pre-eminent head and neck service in Australia. It is a group of leading specialists – surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation therapists, nurses, allied health practitioners and research scientists – whose primary aim is to provide the best possible treatment for people with cancer of the head and neck.

The team at SHNCI are world leaders in head and neck cancer research. Our research focusses on:

  • Finding a cause for mouth cancer in young patients who have never smoked.
  • Restoring movement in facial paralysis
  • Digital planning and 3-D printing for facial reconstruction
  • Advanced and metastatic facial cancers

The SHNCI has the largest research database and biobank in Australia and collaborates with medical research institutes across the world.

Jonathan Clark in surgery

Patient Stories

Contact Us

Phone: (02) 8514 0432
Fax: (02) 9383 1033
Email: headandneck@lh.org.au

Visitor Information

Find out more about public transport options, parking and our free shuttle bus.


In NSW alone, someone is diagnosed with cancer every 13 minutes. Every dollar you contribute to Chris O’Brien Lifehouse will make a difference to the 57,000 patients who visit us each year.

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