European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology

, Volume 271, Issue 7, pp 1861–1867

New treatment strategies for HPV-positive head and neck cancer

  • B. Kofler
  • S. Laban
  • C. J. Busch
  • B. Lörincz
  • R. Knecht
Review Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00405-013-2603-0

Cite this article as:
Kofler, B., Laban, S., Busch, C.J. et al. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol (2014) 271: 1861. doi:10.1007/s00405-013-2603-0

Abstract

Epidemiological studies show an increasing incidence of human papilloma virus-associated oropharyngeal cancer. HPV-positive head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is recognized as a special subgroup of HNSCC. Because HPV-positive patients are often younger and have an outstanding prognosis, long-term toxicities of therapy have become an important issue. Current clinical trials focus on a reduction of treatment-related toxicity and the development of HPV-specific therapies. New treatment strategies include a dose reduction of radiotherapy, the use of cetuximab instead of cisplatin for chemoradiation and transoral robotic surgery (TORS). Increasing comprehension of the molecular background of HPV-associated HNSCC has also lead to more specific treatment attempts including immunotherapeutic strategies. Whereas recently published data shed light on immune mechanisms resulting in a tolerogenic niche for HPV and HPV-associated HNSCC, other studies focus on specific vaccination of HPV-positive HNSCC. This study will summarize current therapy approaches and illustrate ongoing clinical trials in the field of HPV-positive HNSCC.

Keywords

HPV-positive HNSCCReduction of toxicityImmunological therapyTORSVaccinationPD-1:PD-L1 pathway

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Kofler
    • 1
  • S. Laban
    • 1
  • C. J. Busch
    • 1
  • B. Lörincz
    • 1
  • R. Knecht
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, Head and Neck Cancer Center of the University Cancer Center HamburgUniversity Medical Center HamburgHamburgGermany