J Cancer 2022; 13(7):2189-2199. doi:10.7150/jca.66707 This issue

Review

Biological roles and clinical significance of estrogen and androgen receptors in head and neck cancers

Chunhong Qin1,2,#, Yan Lu2,3,#, Huimin Zhang2,#, Zhe Zhang2,4, Wei Xu5, Shuxin Wen6✉, Wei Gao7,2,5✉, Yongyan Wu7,1,2,5✉

1. Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Basic Medical College, Shanxi Medical University, Taiyuan 030001, Shanxi, China.
2. Shanxi Key Laboratory of Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Cancer, Shanxi Province Clinical Medical Research Center for Precision Medicine of Head and Neck Cancer, Department of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery, First Hospital of Shanxi Medical University, Taiyuan 030001, Shanxi, China.
3. Department of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery, The First Hospital, Jinzhou Medical University, Jinzhou 121001, Liaoning, China.
4. Shanxi Eye Hospital, Taiyuan 030002, Shanxi, China.
5. Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Shandong Provincial ENT Hospital, Cheeloo College of Medicine, Shandong University, Jinan 250022, Shandong, China.
6. Department of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery, Shanxi Bethune Hospital, Taiyuan 030032, Shanxi, China.
7. General Hospital, Clinical Medical Academy, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518055, Guangdong, China.
#These authors contributed equally to this work.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). See http://ivyspring.com/terms for full terms and conditions.
Citation:
Qin C, Lu Y, Zhang H, Zhang Z, Xu W, Wen S, Gao W, Wu Y. Biological roles and clinical significance of estrogen and androgen receptors in head and neck cancers. J Cancer 2022; 13(7):2189-2199. doi:10.7150/jca.66707. Available from https://www.jcancer.org/v13p2189.htm

File import instruction

Abstract

Graphic abstract

Head and neck cancers (HNC) include malignant tumors that grow in and around the mouth, larynx, throat, sinuses, nose, and salivary glands. Accumulating evidence in malignancies suggests the aberrant expressions of the estrogen receptor (ER) and the androgen receptor (AR) in HNC, such as in laryngeal cancer and cancer of the salivary gland. Moreover, the signaling pathways involving these receptors that mediate tumorigenesis, proliferation, apoptosis, migration, and invasion have been elucidated. This review summarizes the roles of ER and AR with the putative signaling pathways involved in HNC. We also discuss the potential application of ER- and AR-related therapies in HNC. However, most of the mechanisms underlying AR and ER involvement in the development of HNC remain elusive and warrant further studies. A comprehensive understanding of the functional roles and mechanisms of action of AR and ER in HNC will facilitate the development of better therapeutic strategies for this disease. Overall, studies on AR and ER provide a promising potential for the diagnosis and treatment of HNC in the future.

Keywords: Androgen receptor, Estrogen receptor, Head and neck cancer, Molecular target, Biomarker, Cancer treatment