Purpose of review: The aim of this article is to review progress in the treatment of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (in the light of the most recent literature). Due to the complexity of the disease the multidisciplinary approach needs also a multidisciplinary knowledge which this review tries to summarize. Recent findings: The multidisciplinary treatment approach to the disease includes predictive and prognostic value of biomolecular and clinical factors, the role of induction chemotherapy and concurrent chemo-radiotherapy, new advances in postoperative treatment, treatment-related side-effects and their impact on patients' quality of life, new targeted therapies and treatment choice for incurable patients. Advances in other disciplines, such as radiation therapy and new imaging techniques, will be considered elsewhere in this journal. Summary: Major advances derived from the strategic use of different treatment and diagnostic modalities. The importance of a multidisciplinary team and knowledge in the approach of this disease should be stressed. Today, a multidisciplinary diagnostic and treatment philosophy is the tool to guarantee the best treatment plan definition, to prevent and relieve treatment adverse effects with the ultimate goal to improve survival. © 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
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