The key differences between human papillomavirus-positive and-negative head and neck cancers: Biological and clinical implications

Steven F. Powell, Lexi Vu, William C. Spanos, Dohun Pyeon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is a unique malignancy associated with two distinct risk factors: exposure to typical carcinogens and infection of human papilloma-virus (HPV). HPV encodes the potent oncoproteins E6 and E7, which bypass many important on-cogenic processes and result in cancer development. In contrast, HPV-negative HNSCC is developed through multiple mutations in diverse oncogenic driver genes. While the risk factors associated with HPV-positive and HPV-negative HNSCCs are discrete, HNSCC patients still show highly complex molecular signatures, immune infiltrations, and treatment responses even within the same anatomical subtypes. Here, we summarize the current understanding of biological mechanisms, treatment approaches, and clinical outcomes in comparison between HPV-positive and-negative HNSCCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5206
JournalCancers
Volume13
Issue number20
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2021

Keywords

  • Clinical outcome
  • Clinical trials
  • De-escalation strategies
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma
  • Human papillomavirus
  • Microbiome
  • Molecular carcinogenesis
  • Surgery
  • Treatment
  • Tumor microenvironment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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