Treatment of head and neck tumors – prognostic and predictive significance of human papillomavirus


MUDr. Miloslav Pála, Ph.D.

Ústav radiační onkologie Nemocnice Na Bulovce a 1. LF UK, Praha



Squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck are a heterogeneous group of malignancies with different pathways for pathogenesis - one mediated by tobacco and alcohol consumption and the other by human papillomavirus (HPV). These HPV-related carcinomas have distinct epidemiological and molecular characteristics and subsequent distinct biological behaviour and clinical outcome as compared with HPV-negative carcinomas. Multiple retrospective studies have shown that patients with HPV-positive oropharyngeal carcinomas are more responsive to treatment and have better prognosis. Current prospective studies are investigating whether appropriate deescalation of treatment can reduce toxicity without compromising outcomes in this group of tumours.



oropharyngeal carcinoma, human papillomavirus, prognosis



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