What is the best treatment for patients with human papillomavirus-positive and -negative oropharyngeal cancer?

Damien Urban, June Corry, Danny Rischin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

The discovery that the human papilloma virus (HPV) is associated with a high and increasing percentage of oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) is among the most significant advances in the field of head and neck oncology. HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancer (HPVOPC) has clinical, etiologic, pathologic, and molecular features that distinguish it from HPV-negative disease. Increasingly, HPVOPC is being diagnosed in clinical practice because of the easy availability of p16 immunohistochemistry, a surrogate marker of HPV. The superior prognosis of HPVOPC has led to a reexamination of treatment approaches, and clinical trials are currently investigating strategies to deintensify treatment to reduce acute and late toxicity while preserving efficacy. This is of particular interest in low-risk patients. Unfortunately, patients with HPV-negative tumors still have high rates of locoregional failure and more efficacious treatments are required. This review of oropharyngeal SCC focuses on current and investigational treatment strategies in patients with both HPV-positive and HPV-negative oropharyngeal SCC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1462-1470
Number of pages9
JournalCancer
Volume120
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 May 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • head and neck cancer
  • human papillomavirus
  • oropharyngeal cancer
  • squamous cell carcinoma

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'What is the best treatment for patients with human papillomavirus-positive and -negative oropharyngeal cancer?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this