Clinical Research



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The Duke Division of Head and Neck Surgery and Communication Sciences is at the forefront of clinical research and trials that seek to improve treatment for hearing and balance disorders, head and neck cancer, and voice, speech, and swallowing disorders.

Current Research

Researchers in the division are involved in a breadth of projects related to hearing and balance disorders, assistive technologies, swallowing disorders, and speech and voice disorders.

Hearing and Balance Research

Assistive technologies

  • Researchers from our division are leading research endeavors to test and develop assistive technologies that individuals with speech and auditory disorders can use to better communicate.
  • Additionally, we are involved in research to create outcomes measurement tools and techniques that measure the impact of assistive technology devices on the lives of people with disabilities and their caregivers.

Swallowing research

Speech and voice research

Research Highlights

Division researchers have patented a laser Doppler flowmetry probe that provides real-time monitoring of blood flow in the inner ear and nerves during surgery for the removal of skull base tumors. This improved monitoring improves hearing preservation rates.

The probe is also being used by the Division of Neurosurgery to monitor blood flow in at-risk portions of the brain during aneurysm surgery.

Clinical Trials

Duke enrolls patients in many clinical trials, including a multi-center trial accessing how chemoradiation versus laryngectomy for head and neck cancer affects swallowing and speech.

Learn more about clinical trials in the Department of Surgery