Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma can be caused by a number of factors including the human papilloma virus (HPV). New research out of Brown University along with other institutions has found that patients with HPV-related head and neck cancer had improved survival compared to those without the infection. The researchers identified serum antibodies to two HPV viral proteins, E6 and E7, which when present in patients along with tumors expressing the p16 protein, could better predict patient outcome. This combination of DNA and protein biomarkers was more effective at predicting patient mortality than either alone.