Mechanism of HPV infection associated with head and neck tumors


RNDr. Ing. Libor Staněk1,2,3; Mgr. Kristýna Glendová4; prof. MUDr. Robert Gurlich, CSc.2; prof. MUDr. František Mateička, CSc.3

1 Onkologická klinika 1. LF UK, Praha

2 Chirurgická klinika 3. LF UK, Praha

3 Vysoká škola zdravotnictva a sociálnej práce sv. Alžběty, Bratislava

4 Synlab Czech, s.r.o.



Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a double stranded DNA virus with a tropism to skin epithelia and mucosa of genital tract or upper airways. It is transmitted mainly by sexual intercourse and enters the body through microscopic injuries. Based on their ability to induce cancer these were further divided into low-risk and high-risk subgroups. Low-risk subgroup is responsible for the presence of viral verrucas. The high-risk subgroup is related to malignant anogenital dysplasias and also dysplasias in areas of head and neck. It is speculated that based on the change in profile of patients with HNSCC (head and neck squamous cell carcinoma) papilloma viruses increase the risk of cancer development and are causally related to the development of HNSCC independent of the two main carcinogens - tabaco and alcohol. Interestingly HPV positive HNSCC patients have dissimilar molecular characteristics and are related to better prognosis, therapy response and higher overall survival. They may profit from anti-EGFR therapy by cetuximab, but without defined predictors, such as those known in CRC patients.



human papillomavirus, low-risk, high-risk, p16, head and neck tumors



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