Dr Paul Nankivell BA BMBCh PhD FRCS (ORL-HNS)

Dr Paul Nankivell

Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences
Senior Clinical Lecturer
Honorary Consultant ENT/Head & Neck Surgeon

Contact details

2nd Floor, Robert Aitken Building
Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences
University of Birmingham
Birmingham B15 2TT

Mr Paul Nankivell is Senior Clinical lecturer at the Institute of Head and Neck Studies and Education (INHANSE) and Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences at the University of Birmingham, and also a Consultant ENT/Head and Neck surgeon in the department of Otolaryngology at the University Hospital Birmingham. He is a member of the University’s INHANSE head and neck cancer research group


  • 2014 - Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of England (FRCS ORL-HNS)
  • 2013 - PhD (University of Warwick)
  • 2006 - Intercollegiate MRCS (Royal College of Surgeons of England)
  • 2002 - BMBCh (University of Oxford - Worcester College)
  • 1999 - BA Physiological Sciences (University of Oxford - Worcester College)


Paul completed his Otolaryngology training in the West Midlands and Doctorate at the University of Warwick, before being awarded an NIHR academic clinical lectureship. In 2017 he undertook an advanced head and neck fellowship in Melbourne before returning as a Consultant ENT/head and neck surgeon at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham. His clinical interests are in all aspects of head and neck and thyroid cancer, while his academic interests include head and neck premalignancy, as well as translational research into circulating DNA and clinical trials into novel biomarkers in head and neck cancer.

Paul has been awarded grant funding from Cancer Research UK and the NIHR. Along with Hisham Mehanna, he has been awarded a programme grant from the NIHR to examine a new paradigm in cancer follow-up for patients with head and neck cancer. 

Paul is the Early Cancer theme lead for the Birmingham Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre

He is a member of the NCRI Head and Neck Clinical Studies Group and of the NCRI Head and Neck surgery and localised therapies sub-group.


  • MBChB -  personal academic tutor to 6 students
  • MBChB ENT tutor

Postgraduate supervision

  • Currently co-supervising 2 PhD students
  • Has supervised BMedSc and MSc students


Research interests

  • Oral and laryngeal premalignancy
  • Clinical trials into novel biomarkers in head and neck cancer
  • HPV positive oropharyngeal cancer
  • Thyroid cancer

Current projects

Paul’s academic interests include oral and laryngeal premalignancy, as well as translational research and clinical trials into novel biomarkers in head and neck cancer. He remains committed to trainee-led research having previously chaired and been part of establishing INTEGRATE – the national ENT trainee research network. 

He is currently co-chief investigator on a programme grant examining a new paradigm of head and neck cancer follow up.

Research Group: INHANSE

Other activities

  • 2017 to date: Early cancer theme lead – Birmingham Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre  
  • NCRI Head and Neck CSG member; NCRI Head and Neck surgery and localised therapies sub-group member 
  • West Midlands Genomic Tumour Advisory Board - panel member 
  • Academic representative, ENTUK Continuing Professional Development Committee


Borsetto D, Fussey JM, Cazzador D, Smith J, Ciorba A, Pelucchi S, Donà S, Boscolo-Rizzo P, Tomasoni M, Lombardi D, Nicolai P, Zanoletti E, Colangeli R, Emanuelli E, Osborne MS, Ahsan SF, Tofanelli M, Tirelli G, McNamara K, Liew L, Harrison K, Fassina A, Sarcognato S, Sharma N, Rao K, Pracy P, Nankivell P. The diagnostic value of cytology in parotid Warthin's tumors: international multicenter series (doi: 10.1002/hed.26032) Head Neck 2019 Nov 24 

Dawson C, Starmer H, Nund R, Coffey M, Roe J, Govender R, Brady G, Patterson JM,Topping A, Nankivell P, Parmar S, Sharma N, Pracy P. Patient advocacy in head and neck cancer: realities, challenges and the role of the multi-disciplinary team (doi: 10.1111/coa.13508) Clin Otolaryngol. 2020 Jan 23. 

Payne K, Brooks J, Spruce R, Batis N, Taylor G, Nankivell P, Mehanna H. Circulating Tumour Cell Biomarkers in Head and Neck Cancer: Current Progress and Future Prospects (doi: 10.3390/cancers11081115).Cancers (Basel). 2019 Aug 5;11(8). pii: E1115. 

Farooq S, Khandavilli S, Dretzke J, Moore D, Nankivell PC, Sharma N, Almeida JR, Winter SC, Simon C, Paleri V, De M, Siddiq S, Holsinger C, Ferris RL, Mehanna H. Transoral tongue base mucosectomy for the identification of the primary site in the work-up of cancers of unknown origin: Systematic review and meta-analysis (doi: 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2019.02.018). Oral Oncol. 2019 Apr;91:97-106. 

Golusinski P, Di Maio P, Pehlivan B, Colley S, Nankivell P, Kong A, Hartley A, Mehanna H. Evidence for the approach to the diagnostic evaluation of squamous cell carcinoma occult primary tumors of the head and neck (doi:10.1016/j.oraloncology.2018.11.020) Oral Oncol. 2019 Jan;88:145-152.

Borsetto D, Higginson JA, Aslam A, Al-Qamachi L, Dhanda J, Marioni G, Franchella S, Frigo A, Praveen P, Martin T, Parmar S, Nankivell P. Factors affecting prognosis in locoregional recurrence of oral squamous cell carcinoma (doi: 10.1111/jop.12815.) J Oral Pathol Med. 2019 Mar;48(3):206-213.

Mehanna H, et al (De-ESCALaTE HPV Trial Group). De-ESCALaTE HPV:Radiotherapy plus cisplatin or cetuximab in low-risk human papillomavirus-positive oropharyngeal cancer: an open-label randomised controlled phase 3 trial (doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(18)32752-1). Lancet 2019 Jan 5;393(10166):51-60. 

Borsetto D, Cheng J, Payne K, Nankivell P, Batis N, Rao K, Bhide S, Li F, Kim Y, Mehanna H, Wong D. Crit Rev Oncog. 2018;23(3-4):235-245. Surveillance of HPV-Positive Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma with Circulating and Salivary DNA Biomarkers (Doi 10.1615) CritRevOncog.2018027689 

Lin DJ, McConkey CC, Nankivell P, Dunn J, Mehanna H. The impact of institutional clinical trial recruitment versus hospital volume on survival outcomes of patients with head and neck cancer: An analysis of the PET-NECK trial outcomes, UKCRN portfolio, and Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) in England (Doi: 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2018.08.006). Oral Oncol. 2018 Oct;85:40-43 

Payne K, Spruce R, Beggs A, Sharma N, Kong A, Martin T, Parmar S, Praveen P, Nankivell P, Mehanna H. Circulating tumor DNA as a biomarker and liquid biopsy in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (doi: 10.1002/hed.25140) Head Neck 2018 Jul;40(7):1598-1604. 

Ellis M, Hall A, Hardman J, Mehta N, Nankiwell P, Sharma N, Smith ME, Williams RJ, Carrie S, Hopkins C, Adams W, Cathcart R, Chatrath P, Lenthall R, Mainwaring J, Nix P, Nokes T, Philpott C, Reuben A, Salib R, Sura P, Sutton A, Ward V, White P, Hardiman J, Nokes TJC, Salib RJ, Ward VMM, Williams R. The British Rhinological Society multidisciplinary consensus recommendations on the hospital management of epistaxis. INTEGRATE (The National ENT Trainee Research Network); National ENT Trainee Research Network (doi: 10.1017/S0022215117002018). J Laryngol Otol. 2017 Dec;131(12):1142-1156

Mehta N, Williams RJ, Smith ME, Hall A, Hardman JC, Cheung L, Ellis MP, Fussey JM, Lakhani R, McLaren O, Nankivell PC, Sharma N, Yeung W, Carrie S, Hopkins C. Can trainees design and deliver a national audit of epistaxis management? A pilot of a secure web-based audit tool and research trainee collaboratives (doi: 10.1017/S002221511700038X) J Laryngol Otol. 2017 Jun;131(6):518-522. 

West Midlands ENT Research Collaborative. National prospective cohort study of peritonsillar abscess management and outcomes: The Multicentre Audit of Quinsies (MAQ) study (doi: 10.1017/S0022215116008173). Journal of Laryngology and Otology 2016 Aug;130(8):768-76 

Hardman JC, Muzzaffar J, Nankivell PC, Coulson C. Tympanoplasty for Chronic Tympanic Membrane Perforation in Children: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (doi.org/10.1097/MAO.0000000000000767) Otol Neurotol. 2015 Jun;36(5):796-804. 

Hardman JC, McCulloch NA, Nankivell P. Do corticosteroids improve outcomes in peritonsillar abscess? (Doi: 10.1002/lary.24936)The Laryngoscope. 2015 Mar;125(3):537-8.

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