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Research indicates need for effective HPV vaccine for women and men and a simple HPV screening test
Date:11/3/2008

sitive head and neck cancers.

In the study, the researchers used oral rinses to collect cells shed from inside the mouths of 135 head and neck cancer patients. The researchers genetically sequenced the DNA obtained from the rinses and tumor samples to identify those with HPV-positive cancers and determine the HPV type. There are approximately 120 types of HPV, but HPV 16 is one of the two most common associated with cancer.

The analysis revealed 44 patients with HPV 16-positive tumors and found that these patients were more likely to have continuing oral HPV 16 infections both before and after cancer treatment. While this study did not link the continued post-treatment infections to tumor recurrence, it was noted that patients with high-risk oral HPV infections prior to therapy, maintained high rates of infection after completing therapy. The team plans further, long-term research to determine if this continued infection leads to cancer recurrence.

In 2000, Gillison identified HPV-positive head and neck cancer as a distinct subtype of the disease and linked it to improved survival.

"There is no question of cause," says Gillison. "It has now become a question of tracking the infection over time to identify those at risk of developing cancer or cancer recurrence."


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Contact: Valerie Mehl
mehlva@jhmi.edu
410-955-1287
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Source:Eurekalert

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