Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is the most common malignant neoplasm arising in the mucosa of the upper aerodigestive tract. Nearly two thirds of patients present with advanced (stage III and IV) disease. Fifty percent of HNSCC patients die of their disease, and 5% of HNSCC patients per year will develop additional second primary tumors. Currently used therapeutic modalities (surgery, radiation, and/or chemotherapy) have been associated with rather modest improvements in patient survival. The Head and Neck Cancer: Research and Therapeutic Opportunities Workshop (held in Washington, DC, May 24-26, 2004) was organized by the Division of Cancer Biology at the National Cancer Institute to identify research areas and directions that will advance understanding of HNSCC biology and accelerate clinical translation. The primary goal of the workshop was to identify the barriers that impede basic science discovery and the translation of these developments to the clinical setting. Over a 2.5-day period, experts in both HNSCC and other cancer-related fields met to identify and prioritize the key areas for future research. The overall consensus was that HNSCC is a relatively understudied malignancy and that investigations that focus on the biology of this tumor have the potential to impact significantly on the prevention and treatment of epithelial malignancies. The chief objective is to communicate these research goals to the cancer biology community and encourage more interest in HNSCC as a tumor model to test translational research hypotheses.
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"Pseudoepitheliomatous hyperplasia (PEH) is a reactive epithelial proliferation that occurs in response to underlying infections, inflammations, or neoplasms.1 Histologically, PEH is characterized by proliferating strands of thin, markedly elongated, anastomosing epithelium, and heavy infiltration of inflammatory cells, as well as varying degrees of hyperkeratosis and papillomatosis. Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the head and neck region represents a major worldwide health problem, with patients exhibiting a 5-year survival rate of <50%.2 Compared with SCC, PEH lacks pronounced nuclear atypia, abundant or abnormal mitosis, and prominent dyskeratosis.3 "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: E-cadherin, cortactin, and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 have roles in tumor development or progression, but their expression has not been fully investigated in pseudoepitheliomatous hyperplasia (PEH) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the head and neck.
We evaluated the immunohistochemical expression of E-cadherin, cortactin, and MMP-9 in 29 cases of PEH and 97 cases of SCC. Additionally, we evaluated their relationship with clinicopathologic factors and prognostic implications in SCC.
Thirty-five cases of SCC showed reduced expression of E-cadherin, whereas none of the PEH did. A total of 20 cases and 11 cases of SCC were immunoreactive for cortactin and MMP-9, respectively, whereas none of the PEH did. In SCC, reduced expression of E-cadherin was correlated with cortactin expression and invasion depth. Cortactin expression was correlated with differentiation, T classification, and recurrence and/or metastasis. MMP-9 expression was correlated with invasion depth. Cortactin expression was correlated with poor overall survival and relapse-free survival and it was an independent prognostic factor.
The reduced expression of E-cadherin and the expression of cortactin may be helpful for the differential diagnosis of PEH and SCC. Furthermore, cortactin expression in association with reduced E-cadherin expression is correlated with poor prognosis in SCC.
"It is the most common malignant neoplasm that arises from the mucosa of the upper aerodigestive tract (Grandis et al. 2004; Hunter et al. 2005). During the past 30 years, survival rates have not improved significantly for this type of cancer, and 50% of HNSCC patients still eventually die of their disease and 5% develop additional primary tumours each year (Grandis et al. 2004; Hunter et al. 2005). Furthermore, HNSCC has a large impact on the quality of life of all HNSCC patients and survivors (Bernier et al. 2004; Cooper et al. 2004). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We examined p16, p21 and p53 expression in combination with the presence of human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA as molecular markers to predict survival in patients with stage IV hypopharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (HSCC).
Paraffin-embedded tumours from HSCC patients (n = 75) were evaluated for p16, p21 and p53 expression by immunohistochemistry. HPV DNA was detected by GP5+/6+ consensus PCR and subsequent genotyping by E6/E7 type-specific PCR for HPV types 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 53, 56, 58, 59, 66 and 68.
Among the 61 specimens that tested positive for the β-globin, HPV typing identified 50 patients with high-risk (hr) HPV types. HPV 16E7 DNA was detected in 74% (37 cases) of these specimens. Twelve patients were found to be infected with multiple HPV types. However, the presence of hrHPV DNA was not found to correlate with the proportion of disease-free patients. The 5-year disease-free survival rate was 73% in p53- tumours versus 48% in p53+ tumours (P = 0.008).
In our series of patients with stage IV HSCC, the hrHPV+ subgroup had a similar prognosis (in terms of recurrence risk) as the HPV- subgroup. p53 overexpression was associated with a worse prognosis.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2010 · Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology
"In contrast, HNSCC patients with advanced clinical stages (stages III and IV) display completely different survival rates depending on the histological type of the tumor and its sublocation  . The treatment of HNSCC patients with advanced stages of disease combines surgery, radiation oncology, medical oncology, medical imaging, and clinical pathology    . This type of collaborative medical approach was initiated as early as 1970, when "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCCs) are the sixth most common cancer in the world. Despite significant advances in the treatment modalities involving surgery, radiotherapy, and concomitant chemoradiotherapy, the 5-year survival rate remained below 50% for the past 30 years. The worse prognosis of these cancers must certainly be link to the fact that HNSCCs strongly influence the host immune system. We present a critical review of our understanding of the HNSCC escape to the antitumor immune response such as a downregulation of HLA class I and/or components of APM. Antitumor responses of HNSCC patients are compromised in the presence of functional defects or apoptosis of T-cells, both circulating and tumor-infiltrating. Langerhans cells are increased in the first steps of the carcinogenesis but decreased in invasive carcinomas. The accumulation of macrophages in the peritumoral areas seems to play a protumoral role by secreting VEGF and stimulating the neoangiogenesis.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2010 · Clinical and Developmental Immunology