Notch in Head and Neck Cancer

Head and Neck Cancer

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2021;1287:81-103. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-55031-8_7.


Head and neck cancer is a group of neoplastic diseases affecting the facial, oral, and neck region. It is one of the most common cancers worldwide with an aggressive, invasive evolution. Due to the heterogeneity of the tissues affected, it is particularly challenging to study the molecular mechanisms at the basis of these tumors, and to date we are still lacking accurate targets for prevention and therapy. The Notch signaling is involved in a variety of tumorigenic mechanisms, such as regulation

of the tumor microenvironment, aberrant intercellular communication, and altered metabolism. Here, we provide an up-to-date review of the role of Notch in head and neck cancer and draw parallels with other types of solid tumors where the Notch pathway plays a crucial role in emergence, maintenance, and progression of the disease. We therefore give a perspective view on the importance of the pathway in neoplastic development in order to define future lines of research and novel therapeutic approaches.