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Journal of Oncology
Volume 2009 (2009), Article ID 349205, 10 pages
Review Article

Prognostic and Therapeutic Potential of Nuclear Receptors in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinomas

Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Mainz, Langenbeckstrasse 1, 55101 Mainz, Germany

Received 12 March 2009; Accepted 13 July 2009

Academic Editor: Amanda Psyrri

Copyright © 2009 Shirley K. Knauer. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Head and neck squamous cell carcinomas are among the most common neoplasms worldwide and characterized by local tumor aggressiveness, high rate of early recurrences, development of metastasis, and second primary cancers. Despite modern therapeutic strategies and sophisticated surgical management, overall survival-rates remained largely unchanged over the last decades. Thus, the need for novel treatment options for this tumor entity is undeniable. A key event in carcinogenesis is the uncontrolled modulation of genetic programs. Nuclear receptors belong to a large superfamily of transcription factors implicated in a broad spectrum of physiological and pathophysiological processes, including cancer. Several nuclear receptors have also been associated with head and neck cancer. This review will summarize their mode of action, prognostic/therapeutic relevance, as well as preclinical and clinical studies currently targeting nuclear receptors in this tumor entity.