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Molecular Diagnostics in Human Papillomavirus-Related Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma.


The incidence of human papillomavirus (HPV)-related head and neck squamous cell carcinoma continues to increase. Accurate diagnosis of the HPV status of a tumor is vital, as HPV+ versus HPV- tumors represent two unique biological and clinical entities with different treatment strategies. High-risk HPV subtypes encode oncoproteins E6 and E7 that disrupt cellular senescence and ultimately drive tumorigenesis. Current methods for detection of HPV take advantage of this established oncogenic pathway and detect HPV at various biological stages. This review article provides an overview of the existing technologies employed for the detection of HPV and their current or potential future role in management and prognostication.

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