Novel techniques have led to the discovery of many genes and gene products important in the development of HNSC and laryngeal cancer. Tumor suppressive genes and oncogenes have been identified, and many of their roles have been elucidated in a genetic progression model. As these molecular pathways become better understood, the information obtained will increasingly be used to guide patient therapy. Specifically, advances will probably be made in (1) molecular characterization of steps leading to laryngeal cancer; (2) molecular screening, staging, and surveillance; (3) molecularly based therapy, including gene transfer and small molecule therapy directed at specific molecular pathways involved in neoplasia; and (4) characterization of patients who are at high risk for laryngeal cancer. In the final analysis, however, smoking cessation for those at risk for head and neck cancer would have greater effect than all these efforts combined.
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