Navigation Links
Prognosis of tumors positive for human papilloma virus in head and neck cancers varies according to the site

Vienna, Austria: Patients with cancer of the throat and who are positive for the Human Papilloma virus (HPV+) have a good prognosis, but until now the effect of being HPV+ on the prognosis of tumours located elsewhere in the head and neck was unknown. Danish researchers have now shown that HPV status appears to have no prognostic effect on the outcome of primary radiotherapy in head and neck cancer outside the oropharynx (the part of the throat located behind the mouth, and which contains the soft palate and the base of the tongue), the ESTRO 33 congress will hear today (Sunday).

Presenting her results to the congress, Dr Pernille Lassen, MD, PhD, from the Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark, will say that head and neck cancers located outside the oropharynx should probably not be treated with the less intensive treatment strategies that are currently being investigated in clinical trials for HPV+ oropharyngeal tumours.

"HPV status has a very potent prognostic impact in radiotherapy for oropharyngeal cancer, and DNA from HPV has been found in all types of head and neck cancer, although it is far more common in oropharyngeal tumours. We decided to investigate the impact of HPV status in non-oropharyngeal cancers in the DAHANCA database, which includes all Danish head and neck cancer patients," Dr Lassen will say.

The researchers searched the database to identify patients with locally advanced cancers who had been treated primarily with radiotherapy, and identified 1606 patients with larynx and pharynx carcinomas. Overall, 40% of the tumours were HPV positive, and the frequency was significantly higher in oropharyngeal cancer (57%), than in non-oropharyngeal (13%).

Being positive for HPV significantly improved tumour control (81% as opposed to 55%), as well as survival from the cancer (89% and 55% respectively), and death from any cause (82% and 38% respectively), after five years.

"In non-oropharyngeal cancers we found no prognostic impact of being HPV positive in any of these endpoints," Dr Lassen will say. "This indicates that HPV status does not help us in predicting response to treatment, and hence the outcome of these cancers.

"We know from laboratory studies that HPV positive tumour cells are much more sensitive to radiation therapy than HPV negative cells, so until now we believed that they would behave similarly irrespective of site," Dr Lassen will say. "However, these data indicate that this is not the case, and at present we do not understand why this should be, though it probably can be ascribed to other biological/genetic differences between the tumours rather than the HPV status. We would now like to try to elucidate the underlying mechanisms behind these different outcomes."

There could be, for example, biological and/or genetic differences between the tumours other than the HPV status, the researchers say; for example, genetic changes caused by smoking tobacco, differences due to tumours of mixed make-up (for example, a combination of HPV+ and tobacco), or perhaps simply differences due to the site. "Such tumours with a combination of causes represent a challenge in our clinical daily practice," Dr Lassen will say.

"We have started following up our work by analysing all the tumour samples using polymerase chain reaction, a way of amplifying DNA in order to be able to analyse changes in genetic information. We hope this will enable us to understand more about why the role of HPV in non-oropharyngeal tumours is so different. There are few data available on this subject at present, so finding out will be an important step towards optimising treatment for these patients."

President of ESTRO, Professor Vincenzo Valentini, a radiation oncologist at the Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli, Rome, Italy, commented: "These findings will have an important impact on the treatment of HPV+ head and neck cancers, and are likely to lead to a change in current practice."


Contact: Mary Rice
European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO)

Related medicine news :

1. Repeated hUCB injections may improve prognosis of children with deadly inherited disorder
2. Classification system for bladder cancer prognosis
3. Certain symptom clusters experienced after surgery for esophageal cancer predict poor prognosis
4. Cancer/Tumor Profiling Market (Personalized Medicine, Biomarker Discovery, Prognosis, Research) Worth $35.03 Billion by 2018 – New Report by MarketsandMarkets
5. In prostate cancer prognosis, telomere length may matter
6. PET/CT bests gold standard bone marrow biopsy for diagnosis and prognosis of lymphoma patients
7. Examination of lymph nodes provides more accurate breast cancer prognosis
8. Accurate prognosis for epilepsy patients
9. DREAM and Sage Bionetworks tap the wisdom of the crowd to impact breast cancer prognosis
10. Smoking linked with worse urothelial cancer prognosis in patients, especially women
11. Routine blood test predicts prognosis in aggressive skin cancer
Post Your Comments:
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Lutronic, a leading innovator of ... latest addition to the devices for sale in the United States. Clarity is ... long-pulsed 1064 nm Nd:YAG lasers, into a single platform that is easy to own ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... 01, 2015 , ... PYA’s latest white paper, “ PYA ... main “pain point” for merging or aligning healthcare provider organizations—when mergers and other ... This quick-read guidance suggests that failing to recognize the power of an ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... PartnerTech , a leader ... leadership since 2008. Gary Bruce, President of PartnerTech North America, currently serves as ... significant amount of time in Sweden since joining PartnerTech based in Malmo, Sweden. ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... ... Nurotron Biotechnology Co., Ltd., maker of cochlear implant systems, has won a tender ... be from the China Disabled Persons’ Federation, a central government association, for nearly 2,000 ... and adults suffering from severe and profound hearing loss . The company holds ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... Trust on receiving the 2015 HSJ Acute Sector Innovation Award on November 18th. ... the patient care experience, and propose exciting enhancements to the medical landscape. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... 1, 2015 A federal court has denied the ... a lawsuit filed by the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) ... a new law that forces employers and consumers to pay ... Arkansas must now defend a law that raises ... and CEO Mark Merritt . --> ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... 2015  Athletic apparel company Tommie Copper ... pay $1.35 million to settle Federal Trade Commission ... compression clothing would relieve severe and chronic pain ... Tommie Copper,s proposed settlement ... its founder and chairman Thomas Kallish ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , Dec. 1, 2015 Assurex ... its GeneSight® Psychotropic test giving healthcare providers an expanded ... decisions for patients suffering from depression, anxiety, bipolar ... behavioral health conditions. i . ... --> With the addition of two new ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: