This interdisciplinary project evaluates potential biomarkers that may later be used for stratification of patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).
Previous data generated within a Joint Funding project of the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK) have shown for the first time that patients with HPV-positive locally advanced HNSCC and postoperative radiochemotherapy have a nearly 100% locoregional tumour control rate over 5 years. Tumours with particularly unfavorable outcome were characterized by e.g. high cancer stem cell marker expression and high hypoxia induced gene expression within the surgically removed tumour specimen. Cancer stem cell markers and hypoxia-induced gene expression are also able to distinguish favorable and unfavorable outcome groups for primary radiochemotherapy.
The present project adds now a group of patients with early stage HNSCC that received surgery alone. HPV analysis, hypothesis-based gene panel analysis (genes coding for proliferation, invasiveness, cell survival mechanisms or mechanisms of sensitivity or resistance to anti-cancer treatments) and protein expression analysis will be performed in surgical material of those patients in a hypothesis generating and a validation cohort.
This data, together with the existent radiooncological patient group mentioned above, will lead to the completion of a cohort of patients treated for the same tumour entity with different standard treatment modalities. The data will give a unique basis for treatment individualisation strategies.
- Detect biomarkers that can later be used for prospective interventional trials on treatment individualization.
- Generate a prospective clinical protocol that utilizes the established biomarkers for stratification of patients in order to personalize treatment of HNSCC.