Head and neck cancers arising from the upper aerodigestive tract are the sixth leading cause of cancer-related mortality, with over 550,000 new cases per year. Though it continues to be prevalent, the etiology of oropharyngeal cancer (OPC; cancer of the tonsil and base of tongue) has completely changed in the last 30 years. Now, human papillomavirus (HPV) is the leading cause of OPC. While patients with viral OPC tend to be younger and have a superior response to treatment and better prognosis compared with non-viral-OPC patients, the biological differences between these cancers are not well understood due to the paucity of genomic data in the viral-OPC population. The underlying genetic drivers of diverse cancer cell phenotypes, or "tumoral heterogeneity,” affect clinical outcomes but have not been studied in detail.
In this webinar hosted by The Scientist and sponsored by 10x Genomics, Joseph Powell will discuss how heterogeneous subpopulations of HPV+ head and neck cancer cells drive unique disease states, cell–cell interactions, and microenvironment dynamics, and have implications for cancer behavior, metastasis, and response to treatment.
Topics to be covered
- How tumoral heterogeneity in head and neck cancer affects clinical outcomes
- How to study heterogeneous subpopulations of HPV+ cancer cells using single-cell and spatial techniques
Meet the speaker:
Joseph Powell, PhD
Garvan Institute of Medical Research