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Novel genetic alterations and their impact on target therapy response in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

Authors Jiang X, Ye J, Dong Z, Hu S, Xiao M

Received 16 September 2018

Accepted for publication 2 January 2019

Published 8 February 2019 Volume 2019:11 Pages 1321—1336


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Ahmet Emre Eskazan

Xiaohua Jiang,* Jing Ye,* Zhihuai Dong, Sunhong Hu, Mang Xiao

Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Sir Run Shaw Hospital, College of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is highly variable by tumor site, histologic type, molecular characteristics, and clinical outcome. During recent years, emerging targeted therapies have been focused on driver genes. HNSCC involves several genetic alterations, such as co-occurrence, multiple feedback loops, and cross-talk communications. These different kinds of genetic alterations interact with each other and mediate targeted therapy response. In the current review, it is emphasized that future treatment strategy in HNSCC will not solely be based on “synthetic lethality” approaches directed against overactivated genes. More importantly, biologic, genetic, and epigenetic alterations of HNSCC will be taken into consideration to guide the therapy. The emerging genetic alterations in HNSCC and its effect on targeted therapy response are discussed in detail. Hopefully, novel combination regimens for the treatment of HNSCC can be developed.

Keywords: head and neck malignancy, gene mutations, deletions, amplifications, genetic interactions, target therapy

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