Open Access Research Article

Head and Neck Tumors Associated with Human Papillomavirus Infection: A Literary Review Addressing Immunotherapy for Checkpoints

Gabriel Nascimento Cerqueira Rodrigues1, Igor Henrique Silva Soares1, Marco Antônio de Melo1, Pedro Tiago Felice Vilela1, Saulo Caldas Teixeira1 and Douglas Reis Abdalla1,2*

1Medicine Course, University of Uberaba, Uberaba-Minas Gerais, Brazil

2Health Courses, Faculty of Human Talents, Uberaba-Minas Gerais, Brazil

Corresponding Author

Received Date: April 06, 2021;  Published Date: April 22, 2021


Introduction: The squamous cell carcinoma is the most common head and neck cancer, representing 90% of the cases. Among the risk factors, smoking and alcoholism can be highlighted, but the influence of the human papilloma virus on the development of head and neck squamous cell cancer is also evident. HPV+ have more favorable prognosis in comparison with HPV- cases. There are several treatments involving surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy. In addition, the associated immunotherapy has been studied to become another therapeutic alternative.

Aim: To evidence the main findings in the literature regarding the use of immunotherapy for checkpoints in head and neck tumors related to HPV infection.

Methodology: Systematic search of scientific articles published between 2010 and 2020 in the PubMed database, using the descriptors: head and neck cancer, HPV, immune system, immunotherapy. After complete analysis of the publications, six articles met all inclusion criteria.

Result: Tumors presented infiltration of myeloid and Treg suppressive cells related to tumor growth. The immunotherapy strategy associated to checkpoint inhibitors, being them anti-PD-1 and anti-CTLA-4, resulted in increased CD8+ infiltration and reduction of tumor cells, reverting the tumor growth. In addition, it led to the decrease of suppressive immune cells (MDSCs and Treg).

Conclusion: Based on the reviewed studies, head and neck neoplasms associated with human papilloma virus infection present an effective therapeutic response with immunotherapy using checkpoint inhibitors in experimental models, therefore further clinical studies involving HPV+ tumor suppression strategies with checkpoint inhibitors are needed.

Keywords: Human papilloma virus; Head and neck cancer; Immunotherapy

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