Area of Interest
Specialty: Head and neck surgical oncology, microvascular reconstruction, endocrine surgery, salivary gland tumors, cutaneous malignancy, and otolaryngology.
My current research interests can be segregated into two categories. The first is aimed at outcomes research relating to head and neck cancer survival, post-operative care improvement, and survivorship. Specifically, I’m involved with recruiting patients for a number of clinical trials at UNC for head and neck cancer treatment. In addition, our division is looking at improving our post-operative pain outcomes after major and minor head and neck procedures and developing an ERAS pathway for laryngectomy and advanced oral cavity cancer patients. I’m also investigating the possibility of using acute phase reactants, like platelets, to help predict and prevent post-operative wound complications.
The second aim of my research interests revolves around optimizing and advancing reconstruction of our patients undergoing extensive ablative surgery for head and neck cancers. At UNC, we predominantly use the scapula to reconstruct bony defects of the mandible and maxilla, and we are actively reviewing our functional results at the recipient and donor sites to identify areas of improvement. I am also in the planning stages of collaborating with the speech and language pathology department to investigate optimal pharynx reconstruction post-laryngectomy to optimize alaryngeal speech and formally study a novel and cost-effective trismus treatment developed by Brian Kanapkey.
News and Stories
Cancer patient finds support from family, friends, health care community
A head and neck cancer diagnosis has created some stumbling blocks for John Erwin and his family, but he says they are now stronger than they were before. “Our family is as tight now as it’s ever been.”
Researchers identify traits linked to better outcomes in HPV-linked head and neck cancer
Using a new blood test that’s in development, University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers identified characteristics that could be used to personalize treatment for patients with a type of head and neck cancer linked to HPV infection. Researchers believe the findings, published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research, could help identify those …
HPV blood test shows promise for tracking head and neck cancer after treatment
UNC Lineberger's Bhishamjit S. Chera, MD, will present preliminary findings at the 60th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology on Tuesday from a study that evaluated a blood test for HPV-linked oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma, which is a cancer of the back of the throat. The findings demonstrated the test could be an effective and less costly alternative for monitoring for cancer recurrence after radiation treatment.