April 2013: the Dutch Cancer Society and Alpe d’HuZes Foundation have granted the research proposal “Netherlands Quality of life and Biomedical Cohort Studies in Cancer_Head and Neck Cancer (NET-QUBIC_HNC).” NET-QUBIC_HNC is a multicenter prospective cohort study on HNC patients and their informal caregivers. The primary objective is 1) to describe the long-term course of QoL in HNC patients and their informal caregivers and to identify cancer-related, personal, genetic, biological, psychobehavioural, physical, lifestyle-related, and social determinants of QoL.
Secondary objectives are: 2) To determine whether the association between QoL and survival is direct or mediated by other variables, 3) To build predictive models for QoL and survival, 4) To prospectively examine supportive care needs in all phases of the disease, 5) To describe the long term course of QoL in informal caregivers, 6) To establish a large QoL database and biobank of tissue specimen, DNA, RNA, serum plasma and saliva, with integrated clinical information.

This project will be carried out by the Dept of Otolaryngology / Head & Neck Surgery of VU University Medical Center in close cooperation with the head and neck centers of VUmc in Amsterdam, UMCG in Groningen, UMC St Radboud in Nijmegen, and UMCU in Utrecht, and the Dept Clinical Psychology of VU University.

The Principal Investigators are prof dr IM Verdonck-de Leeuw and prof dr CR Leemans.

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