The Consensus Guidelines for the Management of Head and Neck Cancer (HNC), developed under the aegis of the Oral Cancer Task Force (OCTF), has been recognized amongst the 13 worldwide clinical practice guidelines in Cancers.
The OCTF’s consensus guidelines were included in the journal Cancers as part of a scoping review that identified and compared the worldwide clinical practice guidelines for treating oral, oropharynx, and larynx cancer.
In 2018, Biocon Foundation, the CSR arm of the Biocon Group, took the initiative to form the OCTF with a mission to ideate, educate and engage stakeholders and thereby, effectively downstage oral cancer in India.
The OCTF is an independent, multi-disciplinary task force comprising leading oncologists from across India. Under the aegis of OCTF, the first ever Indian clinical practice guidelines on the management of HNC were laid down and published in the Indian Journal of Cancer in February 2020.
Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Founder and Managing Trustee, of Biocon Foundation, and OCTF Member, said, “We are exceptionally proud that the Consensus Guidelines for the Management of Head and Neck Cancer developed by the Oral Cancer Task Force (OCTF) with support from the Biocon Foundation, has been recognized among the 13 worldwide clinical practice guidelines in Cancers, an international peer-reviewed journal of oncology. This acknowledgement reflects the collaborative efforts of our dedicated experts and underscores our commitment to making a positive impact on the landscape of head and neck cancer management, particularly in the context of the prevalent oral cancer cases in India.”

Dr. Anupama Shetty, Mission Director, Biocon Foundation, said that at the Biocon Foundation, we have been working at the ground level to downsize oral cancer, which is predominant in India.
“The India-specific consensus guidelines have been developed by national experts of OCTF and is also informed by the Foundation’s decade-long experience and research in the domain. The inclusion of these guidelines in the Cancer Journal’s systematic review of worldwide treatment recommendations for head and neck cancer is a remarkable milestone for the OCTF and a testament to the dedication and expertise of its members,” she said.
According to GLOBOCAN 2020 report, HNCs is the most common cancer among men and 4th among women in India.
Every year, 225,419 new HNC cases and 125,244 deaths from the disease are reported in India. This is owing to the consumption of tobacco and alcohol, especially in the rural regions.
Responding to the need for India-specific guidelines to treat HNC patients, the OCTF had in 2018 started the exercise to tailor treatment recommendations to demographics, technological/human resources and usual local practices.
HNCs account for approximately 30-40 per cent of all cancer cases in India. The guidelines include details on how the causative factors in India differ from those in other countries. The factors consist of extensive use of tobacco, pan masala (betel quid, areca nut, and slaked lime), and gutka.
Given the high incidence of HNC and limitations of access to treatment, these updated guidelines are crucial to optimizing treatment outcomes and achieving the highest possible success rates in treatment for HNC patients. (ANI)