Cancers, vol.13, no.20, 2021 (SCI-Expanded)
Simple Summary:& nbsp;Up to 50% of oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas (OPSCC) are associated with human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV16), the annual incidence of which is steadily increasing. HPV-positive and -negative OPSCC exhibit a different biology, which is characterized by distinct mutation signatures and expression patterns. It is known that VEGFR2 is commonly overexpressed in HNSCC, but the influence of HPV on VEGFR2 in OPSCC is still unknown, although VEGFR2 has emerged as a promising target in tumor therapy. The aim of our study was to evaluate whether HPV exerts specific effects on VEGFR2 expression in OPSCC and thus possibly on the regulation of vascularization. Interestingly, while HPV-negative carcinoma upregulates VEGFR2 in tumor cells, in HPV-positive carcinoma VEGFR2 is upregulated in tumor-supporting blood vessels. HPV-positive OPSCC with high VEGFR2 expression is associated with poor prognosis, supporting the prognostic significance of deregulated VEGF signaling for OPSCC patients.