Immunotherapy Advances in Locally Advanced and Recurrent/Metastatic Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Its Relationship With Human Papillomavirus.
Wang Huanhuan,Zhao Qin,Zhang Yuyu,Zhang Qihe,Zheng Zhuangzhuang,Liu Shiyu,Liu Zijing,Meng Lingbin,Xin Ying,Jiang Xin
Frontiers in immunology
Head and neck cancer (HNC) is the sixth most common malignancy worldwide; head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) account for the most cases of HNC. Past smoking and alcohol consumption are common risk factors of HNSCC; however, an increasing number of cases associated with human papillomavirus (HPV) infection have been reported in recent years. The treatment of HNSCC is integrated and multimodal including traditional surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. Since pembrolizumab was approved in 2016, an increasing number of studies have focused on immunotherapy. However, not all of HNSCC patients have a better outcome on immunotherapy. Immunotherapy has been reported to be more effective in HPV-positive patients, but its molecular mechanism is still unclear. Some researchers have proposed that the high proportion of infiltrating immune cells in HPV-positive tumors and the difference in immune checkpoint expression level may be the reasons for their better response. As a result, a series of individualized immunotherapy trials have also been conducted in HPV-positive patients. This paper summarizes the current status of HNSCC immunotherapy, individualized immunotherapy in HPV-positive patients, and immune differences in HPV-positive tumors to provide new insights into HNSCC immunotherapy and try to identify patients who may benefit from immunotherapy.