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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2014 Mar 15;88(4):761-70. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2013.08.029.

Review of the clinical and biologic aspects of human papillomavirus-positive squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck.

Author information

1
Department of Human Oncology, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin.
2
Radiation Oncology Associates, Manchester, New Hampshire.
3
Department of Human Oncology, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin; University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin. Electronic address: rkimple@humonc.wisc.edu.

Abstract

Human papillomavirus (HPV), a known etiology of a subset of head-and-neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNCs), causes numerous alterations in normal cellular functions. This article reviews the biology, detection, and treatment of HPV-positive HNC. The role of HPV oncoproteins in tumor development, the natural history of HPV infection, and risk factors for and prevention of transmission of oral HPV are considered. Commonly used methods for detecting HPV infection, including limitations of these methods, are discussed to aid the practicing clinician in using these tests in their clinical practice. Clinical characteristics of HPV-positive HNC, including potential explanations for the improved outcomes seen in patients with HPV-positive HNC, are assessed. Ongoing clinical trials specific for patients with HPV-positive HNC are described, and areas in need of additional research are summarized. Until the results of ongoing trials are known, treatment of HPV-positive HNC should not differ in clinical practice from treatment of similar non-HPV related cancers.

PMID:
24606845
PMCID:
PMC3990872
DOI:
10.1016/j.ijrobp.2013.08.029
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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