Skip to main content

Molecular Pathology of Head and Neck Tumors

  • Chapter
  • First Online:
Molecular Surgical Pathology


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.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
USD 119.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Hardcover Book
USD 159.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

Suggested Reading

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Dipti P. Sajed .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2023 The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this chapter

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

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.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-031-35117-4

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-031-35118-1

  • eBook Packages: MedicineMedicine (R0)

Publish with us

Policies and ethics