Caterina Finizia

Professor/ Chief Physician

Department of Otorhinolaryngology
Visiting address
Gröna stråket 9 5 vån su/sahlgrenska
41345 Göteborg
Postal address
Sahlgrenska universitetssjukhuset
41345 Göteborg

About Caterina Finizia

Professor Caterina Finizia Dept of ENT/H&N Surgery; Sahlgrenska University Hospital

Since 1994 working as an ENT-specialist at Sahlgenska Univeristy Hospital (SU) Present postgraduate appointment ENT-specialist Sahlgrenska University Hospital 20%, chief of internship education SU 60%, 20% of working hours assigned to research work as ENT professor. Principle supervisor of eight accomplished PhD theses.

Head and neck cancer treatment Clinical and translational research applied to risk organs and intervention for complications following head and neck cancer treatment

Purpose and Aims The overall goal of our proposed project is to reduce incidence and severity of complications following treatment for head and neck cancer (HNC) by identifying patients at risk and implementing interventions based on clinical and translational research. In Sweden, approximately 1300 patients are diagnosed with HNC annually. They are generally treated with chemoradiotherapy (CRT) and/or surgery. The oncologic treatment yields severe complications in up to 50% of the patients, affecting communication, swallowing and mouth-opening ability (trismus). There is currently a significant gap in our knowledge on how to best care for these patients, both in terms of how to manage the complications and how to prevent them.

Improve health related quality of life During the last decade, we have focused on identifying and treating long-term complications following oncologic treatment in HNC patients, aiming to improve health related quality of life (HRQL), optimising rehabilitation and reduce health care costs. Based on this research, we have now expanded our research aims with focus on identification of patients and organs at risk using genetic and dose studies and prevention studies of HNC treatment complications. We have also developed and/or translated several validated patient reported instruments, which have then been used to assess outcomes and efficacy in clinical intervention studies. Our team includes otolaryngologists, oncologists, radiologists, odontologists, speech-language pathologists, medical physicists and mathematicians. We are therefore in an excellent position to fill the knowledge gap identified above. Our strategy for doing so is defined in the following. Specific aims: 1. To clarify the mechanisms involved in trismus and dysphagia complications by using whole genome genetic analysis as well as targeted gene analysis in head and neck cancer patients 2. To identify risk structures for radiation induced trismus and dysphagia through predictive modelling of normal tissue response and to avoid these conditions through altered treatment planning of radiotherapy 3. To develop and implement more efficient interventions and measures of complications after oncologic treatment for head and neck cancer