According to new findings presented at the American Society for Radiation Oncology's (ASTRO) 56th Annual Meeting in San Francisco, California, patients with human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive oropharyngeal cancer may not require neck surgery after receiving radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
In the study, researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, analyzed the medical records of 396 patients with at least locally advanced oropharyngeal cancer. Of those, the records of 99 patients indicated whether or not their cancer had likely been activated by HPV, and 146 patients underwent neck surgery within 180 days after the completion of radiation therapy.
The researchers found that patients with HPV-positive oropharygneal cancer were most likely to respond better to treatment compared with those with HPV-negative cancer. This trend has also been seen in previous studies. Patients who were found to have a protein called p16, an indicator of HPV-positive cancer, were less likely to experience a recurrence of their cancer.
Patients with HPV-positive cancer who elected to undergo neck surgery were more likely to have benign bumps, while those uninfected by HPV who underwent neck surgery were more likely to have malignant bumps.
A new study shows that patients with human papillomavirus (HPV) – the same virus associated with both cervical and head and neck cancer – positive oropharyngeal cancer see significantly higher rates of complete response on a post-radiation neck dissection than those with HPV-negative oropharyngeal cancer.
Fox Chase Cancer Center researchers presented the findings at the American Society for Radiation Oncology’s 56th Annual Meeting on Wednesday, September 17.