HPV und Kopf-Hals-KarzinomeHPV and Carcinomas of the Head and Neck

HPV in Head and Neck Cancer


Human papillomaviruses are small DNA-Viruses which can be devided in more than 200 subtypes. In common, they cause benign papillomas or warts. But a groop of so called ‚high risk’ types (especially HPV16 and 18) can induce malignant neoplasias as cervical carcinomas and HNSCC 1. Todays knowledge about the events during the malignant tronsformation from an acute HPV-infection to a tumor , research was done especially on the cervical situation. Here, HPVs infect the basal layer of proliferating epidermal or mucosal cells via microlesions of skin or mucosa. During an accute infection, viral and cellular DNA replicates independently (episomal virus) 2,3. Except for some limited expression of the viral proteins E5, E6 and E7, viral gene expression is largely suppressed in these cells through the viral proteins E1 and E2. While the infection progresses, HPV spreads laterally or migrates into the suprabasal differentiating cell layers by cell division. In the latter cells, late viral gene expression is started resulting in replication of the circular genome and production of structural proteins. In the upper cell layers, viral particles are assembled and released.



1.     Psyrri, A. & Dimaio, D. Human papillomavirus in cervical and head-and-neck cancer. Nat Clin Prac Oncol 5, 24–31 (2008).

2.     Hausen, zur, H. Human papillomaviruses and their possible role in squamous cell carcinomas. Curr Top Microbiol Immunol 78, 1–30 (1977).

3.     Hausen, zur, H. Intracellular surveillance of persisting viral infections. Human genital cancer results from deficient cellular control of papillomavirus gene expression. Lancet 2, 489–491 (1986).


Top © uhrmacherinstitut.de