Current Oncology Reports

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 115–120 | Cite as

Human Papillomavirus: Changing Paradigms in Oropharyngeal Cancer

  • David J. Adelstein
  • Cristina P. Rodriguez


The human papillomavirus (HPV) has recently been identified as an important etiologic agent in the development of squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx. The HPV- associated cancers appear to have a different biology than the HPV-negative cancers, and affect a population that is more likely to be young, male, Caucasian, and nonsmoking. More importantly, however, is the recognition that patients with an HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancer have a distinctly better survival after treatment than those patients with HPV-negative tumors, although their prognosis is significantly worse if there is a history of tobacco abuse. HPV-associated oropharynx cancer should be recognized as a new biologic entity and studied separately from HPV-negative cancers in future clinical trials. The potential for disease prevention with the use of the current HPV vaccines is discussed.


Human papillomavirus Oropharynx cancer Head and neck cancer 


Papers of particular interest, published recently have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Solid Tumor OncologyCleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer InstituteClevelandUSA

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