Research team Anders Näsman

Studies on diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic markers in non-smoking related head and neck cancer with focus on oropharyngeal cancer and malignant salivary gland tumors.

Head and neck cancer (HNSCC) is mainly due to smoking and alcohol. However, this project focuses mainly on non-smoking and alcohol related cancer, depending on human papillomavirus, or tumors with unknown etiology. 

HPV positive (HPV+) tonsillar- and base of tongue squamous cell carcinoma, (TSCC/BOTSCC) account for the majority of oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC). In addition, HPV+ TSCC/BOTSCC accounts for more than 35% of all HNC in Sweden and have a very favorable overall survival (OS) compared to HPV negative (HPV-) TSCC/BOTSCC other OPSCC and HNSCC. Therefore comparably its treatment could be decreased, but to avoid non-sufficient treatment it is important to identify patients with HPV+TSCC/BOTSSC with an expected favorable prognosis, and this is not entirely possible today. In addition, patients with HPV+ TSCC/BOTSCC, with recurrent disease/or distant metastasis have a very unfavorable prognosis, and today’s therapy for those patients is suboptimal so new alternatives such as e.g. targeted therapies are needed. OPSCC other than TSCC/BOTSCC has worse prognosis and is staged inappropriately with the latest 8th ATCC staging system, with risk for undertreatment, so new prognostic markers are needed. 

Malignant salivary gland tumors (MST) include several groups that are difficult to micro-morphologically diagnosticate and separate and prognosticate, and this is especially obvious for adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC). Unfortunately, there are insufficient analysis to solve this situation today and this needs to be improved urgently.  

The objectives of these projects are therefore to provide safer and efficient diagnostics for better tailored therapy of HPV+TSCC/BOTSCC, other OPSCC and MST using the below approaches.

  • To identify, and validate new prognostic markers for treatment, through  RNA-sequencing and subsequent molecular epidemiologic and functional validation of these markers in  HPV+ TSCC/BOTSCC.
  • To identify clinical and histomorphological and immunohistochemical prognostic markers in OPSCC
  • To identify and validate immunological prognostic markers in ACC
  • To identify presence of HPV in ACC

PubMed publications from Anders Näsman

Group members

Anders Näsman, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, specialist in Clinical Pathology
Andreas Ährlund-Richter, PhD, associated
Caroline Haglund DeFlon, MD, Specialist in Clinical Pathology, PhD student
Mark Zupancic, MD, ST in clinical oncology, PhD