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Study Finds HPV16 Correlates to Oral Cancer Recurrence

Study Finds HPV16 Correlates To Oral Cancer Recurrence The incidence of human papillomavirus related oropharyngeal carcinoma (HPV OPC) has been steadily increasing in the United States, Western Europe and Australia. While this type of oral cancer is highly treatable when

Study Finds HPV16 Correlates to Oral Cancer Recurrence

The incidence of human papillomavirus-related oropharyngeal carcinoma (HPV-OPC) has been steadily increasing in the United States, Western Europe and Australia. While this type of oral cancer is highly treatable when detected early, between 10% and 25% of HPV-OPC patients experience cancer recurrence within 2 years. Researchers from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore set out to determine whether HPV could be traced in oral rinse samples as a prognostic biomarker for recurrence following treatment.

The research, “Prognostic Implication of Persistent Human Papillomavirus Type 16 DNA Detection in Oral Rinses for Human Papillomavirus-Related Oropharyngeal Carcinoma,” published online in July in JAMA Oncology, looked at HPV DNA samples from 124 subjects diagnosed with HPV-OPC between 2009 and 2013. Oral rinse samples were collected at diagnosis and post-treatment, and evaluated for the presence of HPV DNA.

Analysis following diagnosis revealed the presence of the HPV16 strain in more than half of the study group. Only six of the 124 subjects, however, exhibited HPV16 at levels that could be detected in the post-treatment oral rinse test. Of those, five subjects had also tested positive for HPV16 during diagnostic rinse screening—and each of these individuals experienced recurrent disease.

“Our data suggest that persistent HPV16 DNA detection in post-treatment oral rinses is associated with poor prognosis and may be predictive of disease outcome,” notes corresponding author Gypsyamber D’Souza, MS, PhD, an epidemiology researcher at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. While more research is needed, the team suggests this methodology may prove useful for long-term surveillance of HPV-positive oral cancer survivors.

Hygiene Connection E-Newsletter

August 2015

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