Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is globally the seventh most common cancer. Its 40-50% 5-year survival rate has not improved significantly in the last decade despite surgical, radiotherapy and chemotherapy progress. Significantly increased knowledge of biomarkers and molecular biology of HNSCC has shown that smoking and alcohol consumption cause HNSCC and that the human papilloma virus (HPV) is related to HNSCC oncogenesis. Tumor/node/metastasis (TNM) staging is essential to determining treatment and prognosis. Even early-stage subjects may have recurrence and/or distant metastasis. New biomarkers should provide new categories and staging determing prognosis preoperatively by routine tumor biopsy that, in turn, will improve HNSCC management. Here we review molecular biology of HNSCC and discuss potential analysis and treatment.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes