The Thyroid, Head and Neck Cancer (THANC) Foundation was incorporated in 2003 and quickly became the largest private funder of research in the United States for these types of cancer. In 2009 THANC became the first US member of the global Head and Neck Research Network (HNRN) and refocused research funding internally on collaborative initiatives as a member of this organization. In addition to research, THANC funded continuing professional medical education through sponsorship of the Multidisciplinary Management of Head and Neck Cancer and Thyroid and Parathyroid Diseases until 2011, when the 20th Annual Course was held. The Foundation supports the Head & Neck Oncologic and Microvascular Reconstructive Surgery, and Thyroid/Parathyroid Surgery Fellowship, a program accredited by the American Head and Neck Society. THANC’s resources also focus on community awareness and education as well as patient outreach and support initiatives. Under the medical direction of Dr. Mark Urken, THANC is housed within the Institute for Head and Neck and Thyroid Cancer at the Phillips Ambulatory Care Center at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center.
The Thyroid, Head and Neck Research Center (THNRC) focuses on developing multidisciplinary protocols and treatments to improve outcomes in voice, speech, swallow function and quality of life for individuals undergoing treatment for head and neck cancer. Surgery with or without radiation and chemoradiotherapy can cause changes to oral competence, speech, voice, resonance, swallowing, diet, salivary flow, sensation, taste, and quality of life. Primary radio/chemoradiotherapy can affect these variables as well. The THANC Functional Outcomes Center has been examining the effects of surgery, radiotherapy and chemoradiotherapy on these variables over time to better predict function following treatment. The effects of various medical treatments, such as type of surgical reconstruction and organ sparing radiotherapy protocols are being examined, as are the effects of speech and swallow interventions.
Thyroid Care Collaborative (www.thyroidccc.org)
THANC has underwritten the establishment of the Thyroid Care Collaborative (TCC), a disease-specific electronic health record system accessible to patients and their physicians, regardless of institutional affiliation. As a highly comprehensive, HIPAA-compliant tool, the TCC strives to facilitate the provision of high-quality thyroid care and aims to revolutionize the way that the life-long surveillance of thyroid cancer patients is managed.
Head & Neck Cancer Guide (www.headandneckcancerguide.org)
THANC developed the HNCG, a comprehensive resource to help patients and their loved ones understand and prepare for every step of the cancer journey. The Head & Neck Cancer Guide strives to provide information that is written by experts but easy to understand, for adults, teens and children, on diagnosis, treatments, emotional challenges, medical decision making and much more.