The Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery at UNMC is actively involved in research to improve our patient’s quality of life and treatment of diseases and disorders. Research efforts involve the ear, nose, head, neck, and related functions, including hearing, balance, voice, speech, swallowing, smell, and taste, among others. This research will potentially result in improved clinical care for patients, as well as contribute to the science and education of the head and neck specialty.
Some of the clinical research in Otolaryngology at UNMC includes:
- Investigating of new approaches to head and neck cancer in a collaborative project involving approximately 40 researchers from UNMC and other campuses in Nebraska
- Participating in a Phase I clinical trial using an Oncolytic (cancer cell bursting) virus in the treatment of head and neck cancers
- Evaluating a Phase III (clinical trial) drug's ability to effectively identify cancer that has metastasized (spread) to regional lymph nodes
- Enrolling subjects with newly diagnosed laryngeal cancer in a registry to investigate quality of life and swallowing outcomes after treatment for laryngeal cancer
- Collaborating in a multi-institutional thyroid cancer and tumor (nodule) registry to investigate new treatments, therapies, early detection methods, and causes of thyroid cancer and nodules
- Researching the current standard of care for management of primary hyperparathyroidism to elucidate the effectiveness of the current modality of treatment and management
- Investigating ways to improve the quality of life of head and neck cancer patients, including treatment of depression
- Examining the impact on functioning and quality of life of maxillofacial (upper jaw) reconstruction after oral cancer surgery
- Developing of a web-site which contains video, photos, and text for the use of medical students in the diagnosis of ear disease
- Measuring voice parameters as a way to quantify when or why vocal fatigue occurs; results from this study may potentially benefit individuals who utilize their voices in their occupations
- Examining laryngeal sensation and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD, or acid reflux) which may allow us to propose a more sensitive and specific diagnosis
- Exploring technology and computer programming and its application to prosthetic craniofacial rehabilitation; this research has the potential of reducing complex prosthetic rehabilitation from many days, to a few hours
- Studying balance in children with repaired cleft palates; the information obtained from this study may help to identify balance or motor problems to help prevent falls, scrapes and bruises in children with repaired cleft palates
- Determining whether a new procedure using titanium mesh following a mastoidectomy (an area at the base of the skull), will normalize middle ear function (improved hearing, prevention of recurrent ear disease, and correction of deformity behind the ear)
- Participating in a trial of an existing drug which is being studied for its affect on xerostomia in post-radiation head and neck patients.
- Examining the patency of the internal jugular vein after reconstruction with a fibula or forearm graft.
- Analyzing data from national surveys to learn the demographics, symptoms, and treatment patterns in acute and chronic rhinosinusitis.