Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck

  • Emmanuel Seront
  • Jean-Pascal MachielsEmail author
  • Sandra Schmitz


Squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (HNSCC) is the sixth most common cancer worldwide. The main risk factors for cancers of the oral cavity, larynx, oropharynx, and hypopharynx are alcohol and tobacco abuse. In addition, the human papillomavirus is another established cause of oropharyngeal cancer. The treatment for early-stage squamous cell cancers of the head and neck includes generally only one treatment modality, either surgery or radiotherapy. The treatment for locally advanced head and neck cancers is multimodal, with either definitive chemoradiation or surgery followed by adjuvant radiation or chemoradiation as indicated by pathologic features. However, despite this aggressive multimodal treatment, 40–60% of the patients will relapse, highlighting the importance to improve our initial local control. For recurrent and/or metastatic disease, systemic agent is indicated, including chemotherapy, biological agents and immune checkpoint inhibitors. This chapter describes the molecular pathogenic pathways implicated in HNSCC development as well as its general management.


Head and neck cancer Radiotherapy Cetuximab Immune checkpoint inhibitors Human papilloma virus 





Computed Tomography


Diffusionweighted MR


Head and Neck Cancer


Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma


Human Papilloma Virus




Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy


Locally advanced Head and neck Squamous cell carcinoma


Locoregional control


Magnetic Resonance Imaging


Neck Dissection


Overall response rate


Overall Survival


Positron Emission Tomography


Progression Free Survival




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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emmanuel Seront
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jean-Pascal Machiels
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sandra Schmitz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medical Oncology and Head and Neck surgery, Institut Roi Albert II, Cliniques universitaires Saint-Luc and Institut de Recherche Clinique et ExpérimentaleUniversité catholique de LouvainBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Medical OncologyHôpital de JolimontHaine-Saint-PaulBelgium

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