Molecular determinants of HPV-induced oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma

Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) arises in the oral cavity, oropharynx, larynx and hypopharynx and is the sixth leading cancer by incidence worldwide.

HNSCC is a heterogeneous disease which arises either due to exposition to tobacco- and alcohol-derived carcinogens or infection with high-risk types of human papillomavirus (HPV).

HPV-induced tumors show molecular and clinical features, which differ from tobacco-and alcohol- induced disease, and associated with a more favorable clinical outcome. In the last decade, the incidence of HPV-associated HNSCC has increased potentiating the research on this subgroup of HNSCC.

The main goal of the current translational research is to establish therapeutic protocols which would differentiate between HPV-positive and HPV-negative subgroups in order to reduce side effects associated with a standard chemoradiation strategy. Identification of the HPV-specific molecular determinants is a prerequisite for establishing novel therapeutic strategies which will encompass molecular targeting in combination with a HPV-specific immunomodulating therapy.

Based on our experience on the analysis of tumour-immune system interactions, we plan to investigate whether adoptive transfer of HPV-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte can enhance tumour regression. In parallel, we plan to identify new biomarkers, which will be used as basis for the development of new immunogenic targets for HPV-positive and HPV-negative HNSCC.


Our research team publications are presented in full in UniSciences, the University of Lausanne Research Database.

 Last updated on 24/05/2018 at 14:46