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Head and Neck Cancer: From Pathophysiology to Novel Therapeutic Approaches

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 March 2024) | Viewed by 1058

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Section of Otorhinolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Neurosciences, University of Padua—“Azienda Ospedale Università di Padova”, 35129 Padua, Italy
Interests: skull base cancer; head and neck cancer; sinonasal malignancies; thyroid cancer; endoscopic surgery; regenerative medicine
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Head and neck malignancies, although rare, comprise an extensive variety of histological histotypes, which highly differ in terms of pathophysiology, prognosis, and therapeutic approach. Nowadays, treatment strategies for head and neck cancers include either surgery in combination with radiotherapy and chemotherapy, essentially according to the specific stage, or non-surgical protocols (radiotherapy with/without chemotherapy). Evidence regarding specific tailored treatment approaches according to the particular histotype and subtype is scarse, invariably leading to less effective oncological treatment. The understanding of pathophysiological mechanisms is clearly fundamental to implement and optimize treatment strategies of head and neck cancers, resulting in a considerable improvement of outcomes. The present Special Issue is focused on studies that address the topic of molecular mechanisms and new potential therapeutic targets in head and neck oncology.

Dr. Stefano Taboni
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • head and neck cancer
  • pathophysiology
  • novel therapeutic approaches
  • prognosis
  • molecular mechanisms
  • tailored treatment

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

13 pages, 1300 KiB  
Article
Dynamic Up-Regulation of PD-L1 in the Progression of Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma
by Sonja Steen, Karl Semmelmayer, Christa Flechtenmacher, Jürgen Hoffmann, Kolja Freier, Dominik Horn, Jochen Hess, Christian Freudlsperger and Julius Moratin
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(22), 16386; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms242216386 - 16 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 719
Abstract
The introduction of immune checkpoint inhibition for recurrent and metastatic head and neck cancer has brought a new treatment option for patients suffering from advanced oral cancers without a chance for curation using surgery or radiotherapy. The application of immune checkpoint inhibitors in [...] Read more.
The introduction of immune checkpoint inhibition for recurrent and metastatic head and neck cancer has brought a new treatment option for patients suffering from advanced oral cancers without a chance for curation using surgery or radiotherapy. The application of immune checkpoint inhibitors in most cases is based on the expression levels of PD-L1 in the tumor tissue. To date, there is a lack of data on the dynamic regulation of PD-L1 during disease progression. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the expression levels of PD-L1 in a large cohort of patients (n = 222) with oral squamous cell carcinoma including primary and recurrent tumors. Semiautomatic digital pathology scoring was used for the assessment of PD-L1 expression levels in primary and recurrent oral squamous cell carcinoma. Survival analysis was performed to evaluate the prognostic significance of the protein expression at different stages of the disease. We found a significant up-regulation of PD-L1 expression from primary disease to recurrent tumors (mean PD-L1 H-scores: primary tumors: 47.1 ± 31.4; recurrent tumors: 103.5 ± 62.8, p < 0.001). In several cases, a shift from low PD-L1 expression in primary tumors to high PD-L1 expression in recurrent tumors was identified. Multivariate Cox regression analysis did not reveal a significantly higher risk of death (p = 0.078) or recurrence (p = 0.926) in patients with higher PD-L1 expression. Our findings indicate that the exclusive analysis of primary tumor tissue prior to the application of checkpoint blockade may lead to the misjudgment of PD-L1 expression in recurrent tumors. Full article
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