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HPV and Radiation Sensitivity

  • Anna-Maria De Costa
  • Thorsten Rieckmann
  • Randall J. KimpleEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a growing cause of cancers arising in the oropharynx. Patients with HPV-positive head and neck cancers significantly improved outcomes compared to those with traditional tobacco/alcohol associated head and neck cancers. These improved outcomes are likely multifactorial. In this chapter, we review the evidence for increased sensitivity to radiation playing an important role in the improved outcomes of these patients. We discuss how the HPV oncoproteins modulate intrinsic sensitivity to radiation, how differences in the tumor microenvironment may contribute to increased sensitivity to radiation, and how the immune system may play a key role in the response to radiation. Finally, we discuss current efforts aimed at therapeutic de-escalation for this group of patients and highlight future research directions.

Keywords

Radiation Oropharynx P53 Clinical trials Hypoxia Tumor immunology DNA repair DNA damage Human papillomavirus 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna-Maria De Costa
    • 1
  • Thorsten Rieckmann
    • 2
  • Randall J. Kimple
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Human Oncology, Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center, School of Medicine and Public HealthUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Otolaryngology, Laboratory for Radiobiology and Experimental Radiation OncologyUniversity Medical Center Hamburg EppendorfHamburgGermany

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