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The molecular characteristics of recurrent/metastatic HPV-positive head and neck squamous cell carcinoma: A systematic review of the literature
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  • Susanne Flach,
  • Pavithran Maniam,
  • Shi Ying Hey,
  • Jai Manickavasagm
Susanne Flach
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat Munchen

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Pavithran Maniam
Newcastle University
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Shi Ying Hey
Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust
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Jai Manickavasagm
Ninewells Hospital and Medical School
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Background Up to 25% of patients with HPV-positive head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), which is mainly comprised of oropharyngeal SCC (OPSCC), will experience disease recurrence, which is often considered incurable when manifested at a metastatic and/or recurrent stage. Objectives To provide an overview of the molecular landscape of recurrent/metastatic HPV-positive HNSCC, novel molecular biomarkers and current trends in treatment options. Type of review A critical qualitative systematic review. Design A literature review was conducted to identify studies reporting on the molecular characteristics of recurrent/metastatic HPV-positive HNSCC, novel molecular biomarkers and treatment options. The reviews of abstracts, full articles, and revision of the included studies, followed by data extraction and quality assessment were performed by three independent assessors. Results The literature search resulted in the identification of 1995 articles. Sixty-six articles were selected for inclusion in the systematic review. Several studies reported that recurrent/metastatic HPV-positive HNSCC had higher rates of TP53 mutation and were genomically similar to HPV-negative HNSCC. The detection of circulating tumour tissue-modified HPV DNA (ctHPVDNA) as a specific biomarker has shown promising results for monitoring treatment response and recurrence in the subset of HPV-positive HNSCC. Conclusions Our review outlines the latest evidence on the distinct molecular profiles of recurrent/metastatic HPV-positive HNSCC as well as the clinical potential of ctHPVDNA testing in routine practice. More controlled and longitudinal studies are needed to identify additional molecular targets and to assess the performance and benefits of novel molecular biomarkers in clinical practice.
30 Mar 2023Submitted to Clinical Otolaryngology
07 Apr 2023Submission Checks Completed
07 Apr 2023Assigned to Editor
27 Apr 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
17 Aug 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
30 Sep 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
24 Oct 20231st Revision Received
25 Oct 2023Submission Checks Completed
25 Oct 2023Assigned to Editor
26 Oct 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
26 Feb 2024Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
03 Mar 2024Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
04 Mar 2024Submission Checks Completed
04 Mar 2024Assigned to Editor
24 Mar 2024Editorial Decision: Accept