HPV leaves its mark in oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma

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.

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

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Cancer: Tumors absorb sugar for mobility

5 hours ago

Cancer cells are gluttons. We have long known that they monopolize large amounts of sugar. More recently, it became clear that some tumor cells are also characterized by a series of features such as mobility or unlikeliness ...

Early hormone therapy may be safe for women's hearts

14 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Healthy women at low risk of cardiovascular disease may be able to take hormone replacement therapy soon after menopause for a short time without harming their hearts, according to a new study.

Low yield for repeat colonoscopy in some patients

15 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Repeat colonoscopies within 10 years are of little benefit to patients who had no polyps found on adequate examination; however, repeat colonoscopies do benefit patients when the baseline examination was compromised, ...

User comments