Immunotherapy for head and neck cancers


  • Shuaib K. Aremu Department of ENT, Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido-Ekiti/Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State
  • Kayode Rasaq Adewoye Department of Community Medicine, Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido-Ekiti/Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State
  • Tayo Ibrahim Department of Ophthalmology, Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido-Ekiti/Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State



Immunotherapy, Head and neck, Cancers, HPV, Infection


Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is a frequent tumour which arises from various anatomical areas in the head and neck region. HNSCC has multiple resistance mechanisms through which it evades the immune responses. It is particularly characterized by an immunosuppressive environment which includes the release of immunosuppressive factors, expansion, and expansion of immune cells which have inhibitory activity reduction of tumour immunogenicity. Human papillomavirus positive (HPV+) HNSCC tumours have one of the higher levels of T cells infiltration. Studies which explore this relationship to the prognosis of patients vary, with some showing benefit only with high CD8/Treg ratio as seen with HPV+ diseaseand others showing improved prognosis with a higher number of TIL Treg. High CD8+ TIL seen in HPV + disease has been shown in several studies to confer improved disease-free survival. The most successful vaccination strategy is preventive vaccination for HPV. Investigations using different approaches have been carried out on therapeutic vaccines for HPV-associated HNSCC. Despite immune responses being seen in a number of studies, these vaccines are still not effective for clinical use as of yet.


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