Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Irradiation dose modifying factor of squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx infected by human papillomavirus: an in vitro and in vivo study in laboratory mouse tumor model

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
3.04.00  Medical sciences  Oncology   

Code Science Field
B200  Biomedical sciences  Cytology, oncology, cancerology 

Code Science Field
3.02  Medical and Health Sciences  Clinical medicine 
Squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx, human papillomavirus, irradiation dose modifying factor, in vitro study, in vivo study
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (19)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  35354  PhD Andreja Brožič  Oncology  Researcher  2016 - 2018  42 
2.  14575  PhD Maja Čemažar  Oncology  Researcher  2016 - 2018  1,433 
3.  09892  PhD Metka Filipič  Biology  Researcher  2016 - 2018  586 
4.  36321  PhD Klara Hercog  Biology  Junior researcher  2016 - 2018  35 
5.  20657  PhD Robert Hudej  Oncology  Researcher  2016 - 2018  90 
6.  36366  PhD Špela Kos  Medical sciences  Researcher  2016 - 2018  81 
7.  16229  PhD Viljem Kovač  Medical sciences  Researcher  2016 - 2018  297 
8.  19058  PhD Simona Kranjc Brezar  Medical sciences  Researcher  2016 - 2018  317 
9.  36367  PhD Urša Lampreht Tratar  Oncology  Junior researcher  2016 - 2018  126 
10.  20052  PhD Irena Oblak  Oncology  Researcher  2016 - 2018  301 
11.  37415  PhD Ajda Prevc  Medical sciences  Junior researcher  2016 - 2018  37 
12.  35355  PhD Monika Savarin  Medical sciences  Researcher  2016 - 2018  62 
13.  08800  PhD Gregor Serša  Oncology  Researcher  2016 - 2018  1,516 
14.  12024  PhD Karmen Stanič  Medical sciences  Researcher  2016 - 2018  94 
15.  14576  PhD Primož Strojan  Oncology  Head  2016 - 2018  805 
16.  32452  PhD Danijela Štrbac  Medical sciences  Researcher  2016 - 2018  42 
17.  29469  PhD Vesna Todorović  Medical sciences  Researcher  2016 - 2018  57 
18.  37411  PhD Jana Tomc  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Junior researcher  2016 - 2018  25 
19.  20767  PhD Bojana Žegura  Biology  Researcher  2016 - 2018  345 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0105  National Institute of Biology  Ljubljana  5055784  13,279 
2.  0302  Institute of Oncology Ljubljana  Ljubljana  5055733000  15,493 
Human papilloma virus (HPV) was recently recognized as one of the most important etiological factors in squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx (SCCOP). The results of the meta analysis of five prospective series of patients with SCCOP treated with concomitant radiochemotherapy with posthoc stratification of HPV status of their tumors demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in the risk of relapse (odds ratio [RO] 00:43, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0:17 to 1:11) and death (RO 0:49; 95% CI 0.350.69) in patients with HPV-positive SCCOP compared with patients with HPV-negative tumors. According to up to date studies, favorable results of treatment can be attributed mainly to the increased sensitivity of the HPV infected tumor cells to ionizing radiation (radiotherapy), and to certain systemic drugs used in treatment of patients with HPV-positive tumors. Better general condition of patients with HPV-positive SCCOP also contributes to the improved treatment results because it allows more intensive treatment and results in decreased incidence of new primary tumors linked to an unhealthy lifestyle. Favorable results of treatment in patients with HPV-positive SCCOP with concurrent platinum-based radiochemotherapy initiated idea of treatment deintensification in these patients. Though, the prerequisite is to maintain the curability rate achieved with standard dose radiotherapy and platinum-based chemotherapy, whereas the aim is to reduce the treatment related side effects. In this context, the main obstacle is that the extent of possible reduction in radiotherapy dose and/or dose of concurrently administered systemic chemotherapeutic (cisplatin) used in HPV-positive SCCOP, without any negative impact on curability rate, is not known. Therefore, we intend to carry out a preclinical study of irradiation and/or cisplatin dose modification (deescalation) by means of in vitro study with HPV-positive SCCOP cell line and of in vivo study on HPV-positive tumor model in mice. We also intend to determine the mechanisms responsible for the increased sensitivity of HPV-positive SCCOP to radiotherapy and systemic chemotherapy, which was observed in clinical studies. To obtain the goals of this study, we will select appropriate human HPV-positive and negative SCCO cell lines. The cell lines will serve for the in vitro and in vivo studies of tumor response to the therapy. In in vitro studies we will determine the sensitivity of the cells to radiation, cisplatin and to a combination of both. The results obtained will help to clarify the degree of increased radisosensitivity of HPV-positive SCCO and the potentiation of this radoisensitivity using radiochemotherapy with cisplatin. Using the in vitro genotoxic research we will try to evaluate the difference in sensitivity and in the type of DNA damage between HPV-positive and HPV-negative cells. We will determine the level of single strand and double strand DNA breaks after the treatment and also the formation of histone complexes on the DNA. The same cell lines will be used for tumor model in immunocompromised laboratory mice. Using the tumor growth delay and local tumor growt control assay we will determine radiosensitivity of HPV-positive and negative tumors after the irradiation and the combination of irradiation and chemotherapy with cisplatin. We will try to determine the dose modifying factor for the irradiation of HPV-positive and HPV-negative tumors, and the therapeutic index in relation to the normal tissue damage in the irradiation field. Our results, including the dose modifying factor will serve as a starting point for preparation of further clinical research, i.e. modification of the standard radiochemotherapy intensity in patients with HPV-positive SCCOP.
Significance for science
The project is innovative in respect to the unanswered questions what is dose modifying factor of concurrent radiochemotherapy with cisplatin in HPV-positive SSCCOP patients. This question is clinically relevant and not answered yet, therefore the proposed project is the state of the art.
Significance for the country
The findings may contribute to the translation of basic knowledge into the clinical setting. By appropriate modification (reduction) of irradiation in HPV-positive SCCOP patients their treatment will suppose to be effective and with less side effects. Such »fine tuning« studies of the therapy are prerequisite for the patient-friendly treatment that will also increase their quality of life. In Slovenia, radiobiological studies are scarse. This project, in conjuction with clinitians and radiation biologists at the Department of Experimental Oncology, will foster the development of this specific and world-wide fast developing area of tumor biology. The study will therefore support integration of preclinical and clinical attempts in this research area.
Most important scientific results Interim report, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Interim report, final report
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