Professor Hisham Mehanna PhD, BMedSc, MBChB, FRCS, FRCS(ORL-HNS)

Professor Hisham Mehanna

Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences
Chair, Head and Neck Surgery
Director, Institute of Head and Neck Studies and Education (InHANSE)

Contact details

Institute of Head and Neck Studies and Education
Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences
Vincent Drive
University of Birmgingham
B15 2TT

Prof Mehanna is the Chair of Head and Neck Surgery and is the Director of the Institute of Head and Neck Studies and Education (InHANSE) at the Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences.  He is a head and neck and thyroid surgeon with clinical interests in oral cancer and endoscopic thyroid and parathyroid surgery. 

Prof Mehanna has a keen interest in clinical research, especially in clinical trials evaluating the efficacy and effectiveness of new interventions, therapeutic agents and biomarkers in head and neck and thyroid cancer.   He runs a research team of over 20 members and holds over £12million in grants from the Health Technology Assessment Unit, Cancer Research UK, Macmillan Cancer Research and industry.

Prof Mehanna is the College Director for Industry Partnerships and Business Engagement, leading on industry partnerships for both MDS and Birmingham Health Partners. He also serves as the academic representative on the Council and Senate of the University of Birmingham.

Prof Mehanna is also the Chair of the UK’s National Cancer Research Institute Head and Neck Group. He is also the Conference Secretary, and the President-Elect of the British Association of Head Neck Oncologists, and the Chair of the National Cancer Research Institute’s head and neck group.


PhD, Assessment of Quality of Life in Head and Neck Cancers.  Erasmus University 2010
FRCS Glasgow 1998
MBChB (Hons)  University of Glasgow 1994
B.Med.Sc (Hons) University of Kuwait 1990 


Hisham started his medical education in Kuwait, graduating with honours in Basic Medical Sciences in 1990. He continued his clinical undergraduate education at the University of Glasgow and the West of Scotland, graduating with honours in 1994. He undertook his general and ENT surgery specialty training in Glasgow, UK.

In 2003, he undertook a fellowship in advanced head and neck and thyroid surgery with Prof Randall Morton, at the Auckland Regional Head and Neck Unit in New Zealand. He received his PhD from the University of Erasmus, Rotterdam. He holds Royal College Fellowships in General Surgery and Otolaryngology-Head Neck Surgery and is on the Specialist Register in the UK.

He started his consultant clinical practice in 2004 at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire.   He now practices at University Hospitals Birmingham and Heart of England Foundation Trusts.


Prof Mehanna runs several courses and meetings, including the ‘Controversies in the management of head and neck cancer ‘meeting. He also serves on the organising committee of several large international conferences, and has served on faculty of many conferences and courses. 

Postgraduate supervision

Prof. Mehanna supervises several PhD, MD and MSc students.


Professor Mehanna’s research interests concentrate on improving the outcomes and reducing the disability from head and neck and thyroid cancer.  His main research interests focus on:

Clinical trials and effectiveness of investigations and treatments of head and neck and thyroid cancer.

Translational research to accelerate the introduction of potential new therapies, diagnostics and surgical devices into clinical practice, especially in the field of development and assessment of biomarker strategies to improve the selection of treatment (individualised treatment or stratified medicine).

Prof Mehanna runs one of the largest portfolio of clinical trials in Human papillomavirus-related head neck cancer; including the Compare, De-escalate, Oromouth and Predictr trials.

Other activities

  • Chair, UK’s National Cancer Research Institute Head and Neck Group 2012- present

Conference Secretary, British Association of Head Neck Oncologists, 2015-present

President-Elect, British Association of Head Neck Oncologists, 2017-2019


Mehanna H, Wong WL, McConkey CC, Rahman JK, Robinson M, Hartley AG, Nutting C, Powell N, Al-Booz H, Robinson M, Junor E, Rizwanullah M, von Zeidler SV, Wieshmann H, Hulme C, Smith AF, Hall P, Dunn J; PET-NECK Trial Management Group. N Engl J Med. 2016 Apr 14;374(15):1444-54. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1514493. Epub 2016 Mar 23. Postoperative Adjuvant Lapatinib and Concurrent Chemoradiotherapy Followed by Maintenance Lapatinib Monotherapy in High-Risk Patients With Resected Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck: A Phase III, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study.

Harrington K, Temam S, Mehanna H, D'Cruz A, Jain M, D'Onofrio I, Manikhas G, Horvath Z, Sun Y, Dietzsch S, Dubinsky P, Holeckova P, El-Hariry I, Franklin N, Biswas-Baldwin N, Legenne P, Wissel P, Netherway T, Farrell J, Ellis C, Wang-Silvanto J, Amonkar M, Ahmed N, Santillana S, Bourhis J. J Clin Oncol. 2015 Dec 10;33(35):4202-9. doi:10.1200/JCO.2015.61.4370. Epub 2015 Nov 2

Mehanna H, Ang KK (eds). (Dec 2012). Management of recurrence in head and neck cancer. USA, Thieme. PET-CT Surveillance versus Neck Dissection in Advanced Head and Neck Cancer. Trends in head and neck cancers in England from 1995 to 2011 and projections up to 2025.

Louie KS, Mehanna H, Sasieni P. Oral Oncol. 2015 Apr;51(4):341-8. doi: 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2015.01.002. Epub 2015 Jan 22. Differences in the recurrence and mortality outcomes rates of incidental and nonincidental papillary thyroid microcarcinoma: a systematic review and meta-analysis of 21 329 person-years of follow-up.

Mehanna H, Al-Maqbili T, Carter B, Martin E, Campain N, Watkinson J, McCabe C, Boelaert K, Franklyn JA. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014 Aug;99(8):2834-43. doi: 10.1210/jc.2013-2118. Epub 2014 May 14.

Rainsbury JW, Ahmed W, Williams HK, Roberts S, Paleri V, Mehanna H.Prognostic biomarkers of survival in oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma: Systematic review and meta-analysis.  Head Neck. 2012 Sep 20. doi: 10.1002/hed.22950. Investigation of p16(INK4a) as a prognostic biomarker in oral epithelial dysplasia.

Nankivell P, Williams H, Webster K, Pearson D, High A, MacLennan K, Senguven B, McConkey C, Rabbitts P, Mehanna H. J Oral Pathol Med. 2014 Apr;43(4):245-9. doi: 10.1111/jop.12128. Epub 2013 Dec 26.

Jones et al. The TCUKIN Consortium, Tomlinson I, Carvajal-Carmona LG.Thyroid cancer susceptibility polymorphisms: confirmation of loci on chromosomes 9q22 and 14q13, validation of a recessive 8q24 locus and failure to replicate a locus on 5q24. J Med Genet. 2012 Mar;49(3):158-163