Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Fanconi anemia (FA) is a rare recessive disorder associated with chromosomal fragility. FA patients are at very high risk of cancers, especially head and neck squamous cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas caused by infection of human papillomaviruses (HPVs). By integrating into the host genome, HPV oncogenes E6 and E7 drive the genomic instability to promote DNA damage and gene mutations necessary for carcinogenesis in FA patients. Furthermore, E6 and E7 oncoproteins not only inhibit p53 and retinoblastoma but also impair the FANC/BRCA signaling pathway to prevent DNA damage repair and alter multiple signals including cell-cycle checkpoints, telomere function, cell proliferation, and interference of the host immune system leading to cancer development in FA patients. In this review, we summarize recent advances in unraveling the molecular mechanisms of FA susceptibility to HPV-induced cancers, which facilitate rational preventive and therapeutic strategies.