Navigation Links
Tobacco use linked to worse outcomes in HPV-positive head and neck cancer, U-M study finds

ANN ARBOR, Mich. Patients with head and neck cancer linked to high risk human papillomavirus, or HPV, have worse outcomes if they are current or former tobacco users, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

High-risk HPVs are the same viruses that are associated with cancers of the uterine cervix.

The research suggests that current or former tobacco users may need a more aggressive treatment regimen than patients who have never used tobacco.

Past research shows that HPV-positive head and neck cancers tend to be more responsive to current treatments and these patients overall tend to have better outcomes than patients with HPV-negative tumors. However, the new study found that current tobacco users with HPV-positive tumors were five times more likely to have their cancer recur. Even former smokers had an increased risk of recurrence.

"Because the effect of HPV is so strong in giving a very good prognostic picture, we were surprised to find that smoking remained a huge issue, and it actually affected the outcome in patients who smoked," says senior study author Thomas Carey, Ph.D., professor of otolaryngology and pharmacology, and co-director of the Head and Neck Oncology Program at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Results of the study appear in the Feb. 15 issue of Clinical Cancer Research.

The study looked at 124 patients with advanced oropharyngeal cancer, which is cancer of the tonsils or the base of the tongue. Most of these patients had HPV DNA in their tumors, which is consistent with HPV being a major factor in oropharyngeal cancer development. All 22 of the HPV-negative patients were tobacco users, and about two-thirds of the 102 HPV-positive patients were current or former tobacco users.

Of the HPV-positive patients who had never used tobacco, 6 percent had a recurrence of their cancer. Meanwhile, 19 percent of former tobacco users and 35 percent of current tobacco users had a recurrence. Still, the outcomes were better than the HPV-negative patients, all of whom were smokers, and among whom half recurred.

Tobacco users have traditionally been more likely than non-users to develop head and neck cancers. But a recent rise in these cancers linked to HPV has meant more non-smokers are being diagnosed with the disease. HPV-positive head and neck cancers tend to be more responsive to chemotherapy and radiation treatments, which has made researchers wonder if these highly toxic treatments could be reduced in this group of patients.

"The side effects of these treatments affect critical functions such as eating and swallowing. Since the HPV-positive tumors respond so well to treatment, our research team has been asking: Could we potentially spare patients some of these side effects while maintaining good outcomes if we reduce the doses given? If we decide to reduce intensity of treatment, our study shows we will want to take tobacco use into account. Any smoking or tobacco use increases the risk of recurrence or a second primary cancer," Carey says.

Researchers from U-M's multidisciplinary head and neck oncology program are planning a clinical trial to look at reducing treatment intensity for low-risk patients those whose tumors express certain markers, including HPV, and who are not tobacco users. The trial is expected to begin this spring.


Contact: Nicole Fawcett
University of Michigan Health System

Related biology news :

1. Tobacco plant-made therapeutic thwarts West Nile virus
2. Tobacco plant thwarts caterpillar onslaught by opening flowers in the morning
3. Changing flowering times protect tobacco plants against insect herbivory
4. Engineered tobacco plants have more potential as a biofuel
5. Study confirms association between tobacco smoke and behavioral problems in children
6. Smokeless tobacco called moist snuff is contaminated with harmful substances
7. Exposure to lead, tobacco smoke raises risk of ADHD
8. Novel mechanism revealed for increasing recombinant protein yield in tobacco
9. Women more vulnerable to tobacco carcinogens, new results show
10. Tobacco makes medicine
11. Novel bioreactor enhances interleukin-12 production in genetically modified tobacco plants
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Tobacco use linked to worse outcomes in HPV-positive head and neck cancer, U-M study finds
(Date:10/29/2015)... Calif. , Oct. 29, 2015  The J. ... new report titled, "DNA Synthesis and Biosecurity: Lessons Learned ... the Department of Health and Human Services guidance for ... in 2010. --> ... it also has the potential to pose unique biosecurity ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... Oct. 29, 2015  Connected health pioneer, Joseph ... explosion of technology-enabled health and wellness, and the business ... The Internet of Healthy Things . ... smartphones even existed, Dr. Kvedar, vice president, Connected Health, ... care delivery, moving care from the hospital or doctor,s ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... NEW YORK , Oct. 27, 2015 ... the major issues of concern for various industry verticals ... This is due to the growing demand for secure ... practices in various ,sectors, such as hacking of bank ... concerns for electronic equipment such as PC,s, laptops, and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... , Dec. 1, 2015 Today the ... in Seattle,s South Lake Union ... corner of Mercer Street and Westlake Avenue North, the ... the Allen Institute for Brain Science and the Allen ... , philanthropist and founder of the Allen Institute. "We ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... 2015  The Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) has ... Award in the Small and Growing Healthcare award category. ... Minneapolis Convention Center, the Tekne Awards honor ... in developing new technologies that positively impact the lives ... Clostridium difficile infection ( C. diff. ), ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... scientifically backed, age-defying products, is featured as the cover story and throughout ... and unrivaled opportunities that Nerium provides. Success from Home magazine routinely features ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Matthew “Tex” VerMilyea, PhD, HCLD, has ... will oversee all IVF lab procedures as well as continue his research efforts ... traveled 7,305 miles to Auckland, New Zealand to bring home a High Complexity Clinical ...
Breaking Biology Technology: