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

Professor 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. 

Professor 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.

Professor 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.

Professor 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. 


  • PhD, Assessment of Quality of Life in Head and Neck Cancers.  Erasmus University 2010
  • FRCS (ORL-HNS) 2002
  • 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 Professor 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.


Professor 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

Professor  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).

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


Dale, O.T., Sood, S., Shah, K.A., Han, C., Rapozo, D., Mehanna, H. and Winter, S.C., 2016. Long-term survival outcomes in patients with surgically treated oropharyngeal cancer and defined human papilloma virus status. The Journal of Laryngology & Otology, 2016 Nov; 130(11), pp.1048-1053.  DOI: 10.1017/S0022215116009099

Ness AR, Waylen A, Hurley K, Jeffreys M, Penfold C, Pring M, Leary SD, Allmark C, Toms S, Ring S, Peters TJ, Hollingworth W, Worthington H, Nutting C, Fisher S, Rogers SN, Thomas SJ; Head and Neck 5000 Study Team. Recruitment, response rates and characteristics of 5511 people enrolled in a prospective clinical cohort study: head and neck 5000. Clin Otolaryngol. 2016 Dec;41(6):804-809. doi: 10.1111/coa.12548. Epub 2016 Feb 8.

Wong WL, Dunn J, Mehanna H. The role of PET CT in the management of advanced nodal head neck cancer post chemoradiotherapy. Transl Cancer Res 2016;5(Suppl 4):S932. DOI: 10.21037/tcr.2016.10.89

Rachel J Watkins, Waraporn Imruetaicharoenchoke, Martin L Read, Neil Sharma, Vikki L Poole, Erica Gentillin, Sukhchain Bansal, Emy Bosseboeuf, Rachel Fletcher, Hannah R Nieto, Ujjal Mallick, Allan Hackshaw, Hisham Mehanna, Kristien Boelaert, Vicki E Smith, Christopher J McCabe. Pro-invasive effect of proto-oncogene PBF is modulated by an interaction with cortactin. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2016 Sep 7:jc20161932.   DOI: 10.1210/jc.2016-1932

Sharan Chakkyath Jayaram, Sayed Jameel Muzaffar, Ikhlaaq Ahmed, Jagtar Dhanda, Vinidh Paleri, Hisham MehannaEfficacy, outcomes, and complication rates of different surgical and nonsurgical treatment modalities for recurrent/residual oropharyngeal carcinoma: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Head & Neck Volume 38, Issue 12 December 2016  Pages 1855–1861 DOI: 10.1002/hed.24531

Andrew G Schache, Ned G Powell, Kate S Cuschieri, Max Robinson, Sam Leary, Hisham Mehanna, Davy Rapozo, Anna Long, Heather Cubie, Elizabeth Junor, Hannah Monaghan, Kevin J Harrington, Christopher M Nutting, Ulrike Schick, Andy S Lau, Nav Upile, Jon Sheard, Kath Brougham, Catharine M L West, Ken Oguejiofor & 12 others. HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer in the United Kingdom: an evolution in understanding of disease etiology.  Cancer research 2016 Aug 28. DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-16-0633

ENT Trainee Research Collaborative – West Midlands. National prospective cohort study of peritonsillar abscess management and outcomes: the Multicentre Audit of Quinsies study. J Laryngol Otol. 2016 Jun 10;1–9. DOI: 10.1017/S0022215116008173 

Mehanna H, Wong WL, McConkey C, Rahman JK, Robinson M, Hartley AG, Nutting C, Powell N, Al-Booz H, Robinson M, Junor E, Hulme C, Smith AF, Hall P, Dunn J. PETCT – guided surveillance versus planned neck dissection in advanced nodal disease of  head and neck cancer treated by chemoradiotherapy. N Engl J Med. 2016 Apr 14;374(15):1444-54. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1514493. Epub 2016 Mar 23.

Mehanna H, Wong WL, Dunn J.  Management of advanced nodal disease in patients treated with primary chemoradiotherapy. Curr Opin Oncol. 2016 May;28(3):201-4. DOI: 10.1097/CCO.0000000000000283.

Xavier Castellsague; Laia Alemany; Miquel Quer; Gordana Halec; Beatriz Quiros; Sara Tous; Omar Clavero; Llucia Alos; Thorsten Biegner; Tomasz Szafarowski; Maria Alejo; Dana Holzinger; Enrique Cadena; Edith Claros; Gillian Hall; Jan Laco; Mario Poljak; Maria Benevolo; Elena Kasamatsu; Hisham Mehanna; Cathy Ndiaye; Nuria Guimera; Belen Lloveras; Xavier Leon; Juan C. Ruiz-Cabezas; Isabel Alvarado-Cabrero; Chang-Suk Kang; Jin-Kyoung Oh; Marcial Garcia-Rojo; Ermina Iljazovic; Oluseyi F. Ajayi; Flora Duarte; Ashrafun Nessa; Leopoldo Tinoco; Marco A. Duran-Padilla; Edyta C. Pirog; Halina Viarheichyk; Hesler Morales; Valerie Costes; Ana Felix; Maria Julieta V. Germar; Marisa Mena; Arzu Ruacan; Asha Jain; Ravi Mehrotra; Marc T. Goodman; Luis Estuardo Lombardi; Annabelle Ferrera; Sani Malami; Estela I. Albanesi; Pablo Dabed; Carla Molina; Ruben Lopez-Revilla; Vaclav Mandys; Manuel E. Gonzalez; Julio Velasco; Ignacio G. Bravo; Wim Quint; Michael Pawlita; Nubia Munoz; Silvia de Sanjose; F. Xavier Bosch. HPV Involvement in Head and Neck Cancers: Comprehensive Assessment of Biomarkers in 3680 Patients. JNCI Journal of the National Cancer Institute 2016 108 (6): djv403 DOI: 10.1093/jnci/djv403

Mehanna H, Franklin N, Compton N, Robinson M, Powell N, Biswas-Baldwin N, Paleri V, Hartley A, Fresco L, Al-Booz H, Junor E, El-Hariry I, Roberts S, Harrington K, Ang K, Dunn J,  Woodman C. Geographic variation in human papillomavirus oropharyngeal cancer: Data from 4 multi-national randomised trials. Head Neck. 2016 Apr;38 Suppl 1:E1863-9. DOI: 10.1002/hed.24336. Epub 2016 Jan 8.

Fussey JM, Crunkhorn R, Tedla M, Weickert MO, Mehanna HExternal beam radiotherapy in differentiated thyroid carcinoma: A systematic review. Head Neck. 2016 Apr;38 Suppl 1:E2297-305. DOI: 10.1002/hed.24218. Epub 2015 Sep 3.

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.  Postoperative Adjuvant Laptinib 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. 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. 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. 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.   Investigation of p16INK 4a as a prognostic biomarker in oral epithelial dysplasia. 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


Head and Neck Cancer