Title

Photodynamic Therapy as a Potent Radiosensitizer in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma.

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-10-2021

Publication Title

Cancers (Basel)

Abstract

Despite recent advances in therapeutic modalities such as radiochemotherapy, the long-term prognosis for patients with advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), especially nonviral HNSCC, remains very poor, while survival of patients with human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated HNSCC is greatly improved after radiotherapy. The goal of this study is to develop a mechanism-based treatment protocol for high-risk patients with HPV-negative HNSCC. To achieve our goal, we have investigated molecular mechanisms underlying differential radiation sensitivity between HPV-positive and -negative HNSCC cells. Here, we found that autophagy is associated with radioresistance in HPV-negative HNSCC, whereas apoptosis is associated with radiation sensitive HPV-positive HNSCC. Interestingly, we found that photodynamic therapy (PDT) directed at the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)/mitochondria initially induces paraptosis followed by apoptosis. This led to a substantial increase in radiation responsiveness in HPV-negative HNSCC, while the same PDT treatment had a minimal effect on HPV-positive cells. Here, we provide evidence that the autophagic adaptor p62 mediates signal relay for the induction of apoptosis, promoting ionizing radiation (XRT)-induced cell death in HPV-negative HNSCC. This work proposes that ER/mitochondria-targeted PDT can serve as a radiosensitizer in intrinsically radioresistant HNSCC that exhibits an increased autophagic flux.

Volume

13

Issue

6

First Page

1193

DOI

10.3390/cancers13061193

ISSN

2072-6694

PubMed ID

33801879

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