Head and neck cancers are malignancies that arise in the oral cavity, pharynx, and larynx. It is the sixth most common type of cancer worldwide, representing about 4% of all cancer cases: Worldwide, more than half a million head and neck cancer cases and 300,000 deaths due to head and neck cancer are estimated to occur each year. Annual incidence rates in Brazil are approximately 20/100,000 men and 4/100,000 women, while in Argentina they are respectively of 12/100,000 and 2/100,000.
The InterCHANGE study will start in multiple centres in Brazil and Argentina. Other potential study centres will join in the second year, depending on feasibility and funding.
Each centre will recruit a group of incident head and neck cancer cases, comprising oral cavity, oropharynx, hypopharynx and larynx sites. A comparable group of controls will be recruited at the same time. Interviews of both cases and controls will be structured to obtain information on current and previous alcohol consumption, tobacco consumption and other lifestyle factors. Blood samples will be collected from all cases and controls. Pathology reports, paraffin-embedded and fresh tumour tissue samples will be obtained from all cases.
Each case will be followed for 5 years, with 2 interviews and sample collections in the first 2 years. This will help to assess the role of lifestyle habits in prognosis and to identify biomarkers of relapse and of second primary occurrence.