About the HPV-AHEAD Consortium

The HPV-AHEAD consortium involves nine partners from six European countries (Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain) and one partner from India. The main goal of the study is to perform a comprehensive analysis of a large number of HNCs in Europe and India to provide important insights on the etiology of this cancer and further clarify the role of HPV infection. In particular, the proposal will (i) improve our understanding of the role of HNC etiology in geographical regions with different incidence rates, (ii) lead to the identification of the clinically most useful HPV markers and new biomarkers for different types of HNC, (iii) provide new insights on the natural history of HPV oral infection and its diagnosis, on HNC prognosis and survival by HPV status.

It is expected that this program will provide important insights for the screening, diagnosis, treatment and prophylaxis of HPV-associated HNC in Europe, India and elsewhere in the world.

Study design

The HPV-AHEAD consortium brings together three ongoing and well-established European studies on HNC: i.e., ARCAGE, EPIC, IDIBELL. In addition, two other centres from Belgium and Italy will contribute to the collection of the specimens. Together, 44 European centres will provide at least 5000 HNC tissue blocks as well as approximately 4000 sera.

The HPV-AHEAD consortium comprises basic biologists, epidemiologists, virologists and clinicians involved in different fields, e.g. head and neck surgery, screening programs and public health.

All activities of the HPV-AHEAD consortium are grouped in four main and tightly connected tasks: (i) Specimen collection, (ii) Laboratory analyses, (iii) Epidemiology studies, and (iv) Training and transfer of technology.