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

Professor Hisham Mehanna

Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences
Director, Institute for Global Innovation and the Institute for Advanced Studies
Chair, Head and Neck Surgery, Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences
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
Robert Aitken Building
Vincent Drive
University of Birmingham
Birmingham 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. Professor Mehanna is also the Director of the Institute for Global Innovation which undertakes multidisciplinary solution-focussed research on the challenges affecting the world on a global level. He is a head and neck and thyroid surgeon with clinical interests in recurrent head and neck cancer, carotid body surgery and 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 National Institute for Health Research Unit, Cancer Research UK, Macmillan Cancer Research and industry. Professor Mehanna has recently been appointed as an NIHR Senior Investigator.

Professor Mehanna is the current President of the British Association of Head and Neck Oncologists and is the past Chair of the UK’s National Cancer Research Institute Head and Neck Group. He is also the Secretary General of the Head and Neck Cancer International Group, an international collaborative of 20 clinical trials groups


  • 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 


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 NHS clinical practice in 2004 at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire. He now practices at University Hospitals Birmingham. 


Professor Mehanna runs several post graduate 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. He is currently the Academic Chair for the British Academic Conference of Otorhinolaryngology-head and neck surgery (BACO International) 2020.

Postgraduate supervision

Professor  Mehanna supervises several PhD, MRes and MSc students.


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

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

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).

Other activities

  • Council Member, University of Birmingham 2015 – 2019
  • President, British Association of Head Neck Oncologists, 2017-2019
  • Secretary, Head and Neck Cancer International Group (HNCIG) 2016 - present
  • Chair, UK’s National Cancer Research Institute Head and Neck Group 2012-2018


Selected publications:

Mehanna H, Robinson M, Hartley A, Kong A, Foran B, Fulton-Lieuw T, Dalby M, Mistry P, Sen M, O’Toole L, Booz H, Dyker K, Moleron R, Whitaker S, Brennan S, Cook A, Griffin M, Aynsley E, Rolles M, DeWinton E, Chan A, Srinivasan S, Grumett, J, Leemans C, Buter J, Henderson J, Harrington K, McConkey C, Gray A, Dunn J, on behalf of the De-ESCALaTE HPV Trial Group.  Radiotherapy plus cisplatin or cetuximab in low-risk human papillomavirus-positive  oropharyngeal cancer (De-ESCALaTE HPV):  an open-label randomised controlled phase 3 trial. The Lancet, Published:  November 15, 2018 DOI:  

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. 

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, Bryant TS, Babrah J, Louie K, Bryant JL, Spruce RJ, Batis N, Olaleye O, Jones J, Struijk L, Molijn A, Vorsters A, Rosillon D, Taylor S, D'Souza G. Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine effectiveness and potential herd immunity for reducing oncogenic oropharyngeal HPV16 prevalence in the UK; a cross-sectional study. Clin Infect Dis. 2018 Dec 22. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciy1081. [Epub ahead of print]

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 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. J Clin Oncol. 2015 Dec 10;33(35):4202-9. DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2015.61.4370.  PMID: 26527790

Schache A, Powell N, Cuschieri K, Robinson M, Leary S, Mehanna H, Rapozo D, Long A, Cubie H, Junor E, Monaghan H, Harrington K, Nutting C, Schick U, Lau A, Upile N, Sheard J, Brougham L, West CN, Oguejiofor K & 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

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.

Jayaram S, Muzaffar SJ, Ikhlaaq Dhanda AJ, Paleri V, Mehanna H.  Efficacy, 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

Louie KS, Mehanna H, Sasieni P. Trends in head and neck cancers in England from 1995 to 2011 and projections up to 2025. Oral Oncol. 2015 Jan 22. pii: S1368-8375(15)00003-2. DOI: 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2015.01.002.  PMID: 25619734

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. 

Isles MG, McConkey C, Mehanna HMA systematic review and meta-analysis of the role of positron emission tomography in the follow up of  head and neck squamous cell carcinoma following radiotherapy or chemoradiotherapy. Clin Otolaryngol. 2008 Jun;33(3):210-22.    DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-4486.2008.01688.x.  PMID: 18559026 PMID: 18559026

View all publications in research portal


  • Head and Neck Cancer
  • Global Development and Research