Genomic landscapes of EBV-associated nasopharyngeal carcinoma vs. HPV-associated head and neck cancer

Hoi Lam Ngan, Lan Wang, Kwok Wai Lo, Vivian Wai Yan Lui

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Epstein-Barr virus-positive nasopharyngeal carcinoma (EBV(+) NPC), and human papillomavirus-positive head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HPV(+) HNSCC) are two distinct types of aggressive head and neck cancers with early age onsets. Their recently identified genomic landscapes by whole-exome sequencing (WES) clearly reveal critical roles of: (1) inflammation via NF-kB activation, (2) survival via PI3K aberrations, and perhaps (3) immune evasion via MHC loss in these cancers as summarized in this review. Immediate outcomes of these WES studies include the identification of potential prognostic biomarkers, and druggable events for these cancers. The impact of these genomic findings on the development of precision medicine and immunotherapies will be discussed. For both of these cancers, the main lethality comes from metastases and disease recurrences which may represent therapy resistance. Thus, potential curing of these cancers still relies on future identification of key genomic drivers and likely druggable events in recurrent and metastatic forms of these intrinsically aggressive cancers of the head and neck.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number210
JournalCancers
Volume10
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • EBV(+) NPC
  • Genomic profiles
  • HPV(+) HNSCC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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