HPV-related throat cancer less likely to be fatal

Patients are more likely to survive throat cancer when HPV is implicated, research shows.

Research led by Dr Angela Hong from the University of Sydney found patients with HPV positive oropharyngeal cancer were four times more likely to survive than those with cancers not caused by the virus.

Cancer was also three times less likely to reoccur in these patients.

Researchers studied 198 patients with stage 3/4 oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) who were treated with surgery or definitive radiotherapy. HPV status was also determined using a test.

These patients were followed up over almost 20 years.

Researchers found 42% of cancers were HPV-positive. Patients with this type of cancer were one-third or less as likely to have loco-regional recurrence, or to die of any cause than people with HPV-negative cancers.

Dr Hong said: ‘HPV status is now the strongest predictor of whether a patient will survive oropharyngeal cancer or whether the disease will return. Various clinical trials are now in development to tailor treatment according to HPV status of tumours.’

Lesley Walker, director of information at Cancer Research UK, said: ‘It’s possible that, in the future, patients with HPV positive cancers may be able to have less intensive forms of treatment which would reduce the side-effects of therapy.’

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Free coronavirus news and resources on GPonline, MIMS and MIMS Learning

Free coronavirus news and resources on GPonline, MIMS and MIMS Learning

As the coronavirus crisis continues, we at Haymarket are constantly seeking new ways...

Quarter of GPs self isolating for coronavirus as Hancock promises 100,000 tests a day

Quarter of GPs self isolating for coronavirus as Hancock promises 100,000 tests a day

Around one in four GPs are self isolating - many of them unnecessarily - as frontline...

Cashflow fears for locums as government relaxes 10-week pension rule

Cashflow fears for locums as government relaxes 10-week pension rule

Locums will have longer to declare pensionable income under plans to relax a 10-week...

More than 6,000 GPs in second wave of doctors given temporary GMC registration

More than 6,000 GPs in second wave of doctors given temporary GMC registration

More than 6,000 GPs who have retired or no longer hold a licence to practise are...

Updated PHE advice on PPE backs eye protection for GPs

Updated PHE advice on PPE backs eye protection for GPs

GPs should wear eye protection in addition to a mask, gloves and apron when providing...

Repurpose industry now to tackle PPE shortage, says doctors' union

Repurpose industry now to tackle PPE shortage, says doctors' union

UK industry should be 'immediately repurposed' to produce personal protective equipment...