Preclinical models in HNSCC: A comprehensive review

Oral Oncol. 2017 Feb;65:51-56. doi: 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2016.12.010. Epub 2016 Dec 28.


Head and neck cancer remains a significant public health concern. About 60% of patients die within 5years due to local recurrence. Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) cell lines are important preclinical models in the search for new therapies against this disease. Furthermore, there is a need to test novel drugs before introduction into clinical practice. A preclinical model that closely resembles the in vivo situation would be highly valuable. In the last few decades, a multicellular spheroid model has gained attention as its behavior was comparable to in vivo tumors. Basic research is necessary to achieve an understanding of the normal and pathological state but cannot, in itself, provide sufficient information for clinical applications. Indeed, animal models are an inevitable prelude to assess the efficacy of new therapeutic approaches in HNSCC. The present review proposes an overview of HNSCC pre-clinical models in order to further understand the oncogenic properties for HNSCC and translate these findings into clinic for patients.

Keywords: HNSCC preclinical models; HNSCC translational research; In vitro and in vivo assays; Specific cell lines; Three-dimensional spheroid model; Transgenic and syngeneic animal models.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology*
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma of Head and Neck