Head and Neck Cancer Susceptibility and Metabolism in Fanconi Anemia

Tafadzwa Chihanga, Sara Vicente-Muñoz, Sonya Ruiz-Torres, Bidisha Pal, Mathieu Sertorio, Paul R. Andreassen, Ruby Khoury, Parinda Mehta, Stella M. Davies, Andrew N. Lane, Lindsey E. Romick-Rosendale, Susanne I. Wells

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Fanconi anemia (FA) is a rare inherited, generally autosomal recessive syndrome, but it displays X-linked or dominant negative inheritance for certain genes. FA is characterized by a deficiency in DNA damage repair that results in bone marrow failure, and in an increased risk for various epithelial tumors, most commonly squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck (HNSCC) and of the esophagus, anogenital tract and skin. Individuals with FA exhibit increased human papilloma virus (HPV) prevalence. Furthermore, a subset of anogenital squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) in FA harbor HPV sequences and FA-deficient laboratory models reveal molecular crosstalk between HPV and FA proteins. However, a definitive role for HPV in HNSCC development in the FA patient population is unproven. Cellular metabolism plays an integral role in tissue homeostasis, and metabolic deregulation is a known hallmark of cancer progression that supports uncontrolled proliferation, tumor development and metastatic dissemination. The metabolic consequences of FA deficiency in keratinocytes and associated impact on the development of SCC in the FA population is poorly understood. Herein, we review the current literature on the metabolic consequences of FA deficiency and potential effects of resulting metabolic reprogramming on FA cancer phenotypes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2040
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Fanconi anemia
  • aldehydes
  • human papillomavirus
  • lipids
  • metabolism
  • mitochondria
  • reactive oxygen species
  • squamous cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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