Head and neck squamous cell cancers (HNSCCs) represent a diverse group of tumors emerging within different mucosal surfaces of the oral cavity, nasopharynx, oropharynx, larynx, and hypopharynx. HNSCCs share common clinical risk factors and genomic features, including smoking, alcohol, age, male sex, aneuploidy, and TP53 mutations. Viral initiating and contributing events are increasingly recognized in HNSCCs. While both Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) and human papilloma virus (HPV) are observed, EBV is more frequently associated with nasopharyngeal cancers whereas HPV is associated with oropharyngeal cancers. HNSCCs are associated with high tumor mutational burden and loss of tumor suppressor gene function, especially in TP53 and X-linked genes. Multiple lines of evidence suggest that HNSCCs are subject to immunologic surveillance and immune-induced evolutionary pressure that correlate with negative clinical outcomes. This review will discuss genomic mechanisms related to immune-mediated pressures and propose prognostic and therapeutic implications of detectable immune escape mechanisms that drive tumorigenesis and disease progression.
View details for DOI 10.3390/jcm11247259
View details for PubMedID 36555876