The Clinical Impact of Hypoxia in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

  • Annette M. LimEmail author
  • Quynh-Thu Le
  • Danny Rischin
Part of the Current Cancer Research book series (CUCR)


Hypoxia commonly occurs in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas and is associated with treatment resistance and poor patient outcome. The presence of tumor hypoxia can contribute to the protection of cancer cells from DNA damage induced by ionizing radiation and chemotherapy, with hypoxia also promoting alterations in tumor biology that enhance malignant progression. Significant effort has been devoted to abrogating the effects of hypoxia through approaches that include the modification of tumor oxygenation and the tumor vasculature. Recent approaches to improve therapeutic response have explored agents that can sensitize hypoxic cancer cells to chemoradiation or directly cause hypoxic cell death. However, these approaches have had limited success. There is significant clinical need to identify an appropriate predictive biomarker to select patients with tumor hypoxia that will benefit from hypoxia-modifying approaches.


Head and neck Squamous cell carcinoma HNSCC Hypoxia Radiation resistance Oxygen enhancement ratio Nitroimidazole Nimorazole Tirapazamine Pimonidazole FMISO FAZA HIF HIF-1 Osteopontin 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and University of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia
  2. 2.Stanford University Medical CenterStanfordUSA
  3. 3.Peter MacCallum Cancer CentreMelbourneAustralia

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