Therapeutic Implications of the Genetic Landscape of Head and Neck Cancer

Semin Radiat Oncol. 2018 Jan;28(1):2-11. doi: 10.1016/j.semradonc.2017.08.005.


Large-scale sequencing studies of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) have elucidated the genetic changes that characterize HNSCC. These findings have supported the development of therapeutic strategies that target key components of aberrant signaling pathways and immune dysregulation. Cumulative evidence suggests that these agents in combination with radiotherapy may have synergistic effects. This review highlights the predictive biomarkers that have been identified from HNSCC genomic studies and implications on the development of molecular-targeting agents that may effectively treat patients with HNSCC, especially when used in combination with radiation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / genetics*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / immunology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / therapy*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / immunology
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma of Head and Neck


  • Biomarkers, Tumor