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Oral Oncol. 2015 Dec;51(12):1057-60. doi: 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2015.10.011. Epub 2015 Oct 29.

HPV vaccination to prevent oropharyngeal carcinoma: What can be learned from anogenital vaccination programs?

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Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Electronic address:
Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Poznań University of Medical Sciences, Poznan, Poland.
Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, USA.
Departments of Surgery and Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY, USA.
Department of Otolaryngology, Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias, Oviedo, Spain; Instituto Universitario de Oncología del Principado de Asturias, Oviedo, Spain.
Department of Otorhinolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.
Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.
University of Udine School of Medicine, Udine, Italy.
Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Coordinator of the International Head and Neck Scientific Group, Padua, Italy.


Human papillomavirus (HPV) infections are well known causes of anogenital cancers. Recent studies show that HPV also plays a role in oropharyngeal cancer (OPC). A review on the role of HPV vaccination in the prevention of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) with special emphasis on OPC was conducted and available vaccines and vaccination strategies in HNSCC and OPC are discussed. Prophylactic vaccination is known to be effective for prevention of anogenital HPV infection and precursor lesions in the cervix and anus. While the value of vaccination for prevention of OPC and possibly as an adjuvant treatment is still an open question, evidence to date supports the possibility that HPV vaccination may prove to be effective in reducing the incidence of this malignancy.


Cancer; Head and neck; Human papilloma virus; Oropharyngeal; Vaccination

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