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Molecular Pathology of Head and Neck Tumors

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Molecular Surgical Pathology

Abstract

Head and neck cancer is the sixth most common cancer worldwide and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is by far the most common malignancy. As incidence rises, survival has largely been stagnant despite multimodal treatment regimens, driving the search for targeted therapy. Molecular studies have also confirmed that the clinical distinction between conventional SCC and human papillomavirus-associated oropharyngeal SCC is paralleled by the biological underpinnings detected on molecular testing, highlighting the need for specific biomarkers. While other tumors of the head and neck are less common, by the very nature of the anatomic sites involved, treatment often leads to high morbidity, underscoring the significance of accurate diagnoses. Particularly noteworthy are newly discovered, molecularly defined entities of the sinonasal tract, where characterization by molecular testing, or immunohistochemical surrogates, is necessary to identify specific tumors that are otherwise indistinguishable from morphological mimics. Despite many advances in the molecular pathology of head and neck tumors, the pursuit of molecular markers in existing and emerging entities as they relate to diagnostics, risk stratification, and targetable therapeutic intervention is ongoing.

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Correspondence to Dipti P. Sajed .

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Fisch, A.S., St. John, M.A., Sajed, D.P. (2023). Molecular Pathology of Head and Neck Tumors. In: Cheng, L., Netto, G.J., Eble, J.N. (eds) Molecular Surgical Pathology. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-35118-1_18

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-35118-1_18

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-031-35117-4

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-031-35118-1

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