New promising molecular targets in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

Julie E. Bauman, Loren S. Michel, Christine H. Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: Despite advances in multimodality therapy, the overall 5-year survival rate is 40-50% in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) and current multimodality approaches impart significant toxicities. This review highlights promising targets with the potential to improve clinical outcomes in HNSCC. Recent Findings: In addition to mutagenic exposure to tobacco and alcohol as risk factors, recent studies have shown that human papillomavirus is one of the main causes of HNSCC and as such is being investigated as a therapeutic target. Furthermore, recent data generated from whole exome sequencing of HNSCC, new insights into the biology of DNA damage repair, and increased understanding of tumor hypoxia responses are pointing to new therapeutic possibilities for treating HNSCC. Summary: HNSCC is a heterogeneous disease. Improved treatment will require a rapid translation of basic science research, and the simultaneous development of novel therapeutics and corresponding biomarkers to guide their application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-242
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • DNA damage repair
  • EGFR
  • HPV
  • MET
  • NOTCH1
  • PIK3CA
  • TP53
  • hypoxia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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