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Cancers 2016, 8(8), 75;

HPV Associated Head and Neck Cancer

Department of Radiation Oncology, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network, Toronto, ON M5G 2M9, Canada
Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5G 1L7, Canada
Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5T 1P5, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: David Wong
Received: 29 June 2016 / Revised: 26 July 2016 / Accepted: 2 August 2016 / Published: 5 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue HPV Associated Cancers)
Full-Text   |   PDF [469 KB, uploaded 5 August 2016]   |  


Head and neck cancers (HNCs) are a highly heterogeneous group of tumours that are associated with diverse clinical outcomes. Recent evidence has demonstrated that human papillomavirus (HPV) is involved in up to 25% of HNCs; particularly in the oropharyngeal carcinoma (OPC) subtype where it can account for up to 60% of such cases. HPVs are double-stranded DNA viruses that infect epithelial cells; numerous HPV subtypes, including 16, 18, 31, 33, and 35, drive epithelial cell transformation and tumourigenesis. HPV positive (HPV+) HNC represents a distinct molecular and clinical entity from HPV negative (HPV−) disease; the biological basis for which remains to be fully elucidated. HPV positivity is strongly correlated with a significantly superior outcome; indicating that such tumours should have a distinct management approach. This review focuses on the recent scientific and clinical investigation of HPV+ HNC. In particular, we discuss the importance of molecular and clinical evidence for defining the role of HPV in HNC, and the clinical impact of HPV status as a biomarker for HNC. View Full-Text
Keywords: biomarker; head and neck cancer; head and neck squamous cell carcinoma; human papillomavirus; (HPV+); HPV negative (HPV−); microRNA; oropharyngeal carcinoma; prognosis biomarker; head and neck cancer; head and neck squamous cell carcinoma; human papillomavirus; (HPV+); HPV negative (HPV−); microRNA; oropharyngeal carcinoma; prognosis

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Spence, T.; Bruce, J.; Yip, K.W.; Liu, F.-F. HPV Associated Head and Neck Cancer. Cancers 2016, 8, 75.

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