HPV leaves its mark in oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma

May 1, 2013

Oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) is a form of cancer that affects the cells lining the middle part of the throat, including the soft palate, the base of the tongue, the tonsils, and the pharynx.

High-risk types of (HPV) are increasingly detected in patients with OPSCC; however, HPV-positive OPSCC is highly curable and patients with HPV have better survival compared to HPV-negative patients, whose cancers are usually associate with alcohol and tobacco use.

To understand the molecular mechanisms underlying these differences, Jochen Hess and colleagues at University Hospital Heidelberg in Heidelberg, Germany monitored changes in DNA modifications in HPV-positive and HPV-negative OPSCCs.

In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, they identified a specific pattern of DNA modification that is dependent on the presence of HPV. This DNA modification pattern was significantly correlated with improved survival in three separate groups of OPSCC patients. This study identifies a specific cellular alteration that can predict clinical outcomes for patients with OPSCC.

Explore further: Gender, insurance type tied to HPV infection in laryngeal cancer patients

More information: HPV-related methylation signature predicts survival in oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas, J Clin Invest. doi:10.1172/JCI67010

Related Stories

In oropharyngeal cancer, HPV status impacts distant mets risk

January 14, 2013

(HealthDay)—In patients with oropharyngeal cancer (OPC), human papillomavirus (HPV) status and T and N staging categories affect the rate of distant control (DC) and may help identify candidates for treatment deintensification ...

Recommended for you

New role for an old protein: Cancer causer

September 3, 2015

A protein known to play a role in transporting the molecular contents of normal cells into and out of various intracellular compartments can also turn such cells cancerous by stimulating a key growth-control pathway.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.