Head and Neck Cancer Research

​Description of Research

The aim is to find better ways to diagnose and treat the head and neck cancer patients and patients with severe infections in the area. Despite the progress in surgical and irradiation techniques and also chemotherapeutic agents including new antibody therapies, the prognoses has not truly improved and the quality of life is often poor even if the disease is cured. Translational research and new innovations are needed both in diagnostics and treatment.

Research projects

  • New methods to control malignant cell traffic
  • Novel diagnostic methods to asses the prognoses and targeted therapy to patients with oral cavity carcinoma
  • Diagnostics, etiology and treatment options for deep neck infections
  • Follow-up and quality of life among patients with carcinoma of the head and neck
  • Orbital tumors - diagnostics, treatment options and prognoses

Members of the research group

Samuli Vaittinen, MD, PhD, Pathologist
Johannes Dunkel, MD, PhD student
Jarno Velhonoja, MD PhD student, Otorhinolaryngologist
Maija Salminen, MD, PhD student, Otorhinolaryngologist
Piret Mettälä, MD, PhD student, Ophtalmolgist
Eero Kytö, MD, PhD student, Otorhinolaryngologist

Selected publications

Dunkel Johannes, Vaittinen Samuli, Grénman Reidar, Kinnunen Ilpo and Irjala Heikki. Prognostic markers in Stage I oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma. Laryngoscope, 123:2435-2441, 2013. IF 2.144

Boström Minna, Irjala Heikki, Mirtti Tuomas, Taimen Pekka, Kauko Tommi, Ålgars Annika, Jalkanen Sirpa and Boström Peter. Tumor-Associated Macrophages Provide Significant Prognostic Information in Urothelial Bladder Cancer. PLOS One, 2015 July, 21;10(7):e0133552. IF 3.234

Routila Johannes, Mäkelä Juho-Antti, Luukkaa Heikki, Leivo Ilmo, Irjala Heikki, Westermarck Jukka, Mäkitie Antti, Ventelä Sami. Potential role for inhibition of protein phosphatase 2A tumor suppressor in salivary gland malignancies. Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 55:69-81, 2015. IF 4.041

Ålgars Annika, Irjala Heikki, Vaittinen Samuli, Huhtinen Heikki, Sundström Jari, Salmi Marko, Ristamäki Raija and Jalkanen Sirpa. Type and location of tumor-infiltrating macrophages and lymphatic vessels predict survival of colorectal cancer patients. International Journal of Cancer, 131: 864-873, 2012. IF 5.085

Karikoski Marika, Marttila-Ichihara Fumiko, Elima Kati, Rantakari Pia, Hollmen Maija, Kelkka Tiina, Gerke Heidi, Huovinen Ville, Irjala Heikki, Holmdahl Rikard, Salmi Marko and Jalkanen Sirpa. Clever-1/Stabilin-1 Controls Cancer Growth and Metastasis. Clinical Cancer Research, 20:6452-64, 2014. IF 8.722


 Docent Heikki Irjala