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Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2019 Jul 29. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-19-0038. [Epub ahead of print]

Incidence and Demographic Burden of HPV-Associated Oropharyngeal Head and Neck Cancers in the United States.

Author information

1
Department of Radiation Oncology, Head and Neck Oncology Program, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women's Cancer Center, Boston, Massachusetts.
2
Department of Biostatistics and Computational Biology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts.
3
Department of Biostatistics, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts.
4
Department of Medical Oncology, Head and Neck Oncology Program, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts.
5
Division of Otolaryngology, Department of Surgery, Head and Neck Oncology Program, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women's Cancer Center, Boston, Massachusetts.
6
Department of Radiation Oncology, Head and Neck Oncology Program, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women's Cancer Center, Boston, Massachusetts. Danielle_Margalit@dfci.harvard.edu.

Abstract

Background: Human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive oropharyngeal head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) is increasing in the United States. Current epidemiologic assessments of the national burden of HPV-positive OPSCC are needed.Methods: The Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results HPV Status Database included 12,017 patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma of pharyngeal subsites, including OPSCC and non-OPSCC head and neck cancer subsites (hypopharynx, nasopharynx, and "other pharynx"), diagnosed from 2013 to 2014. Age-adjusted incidence rates per 100,000 persons by HPV status were calculated. An exploratory Fine-Gray competing-risks regression determined the associations between HPV status and cancer-specific mortality.Results: From 2013 to 2014, the U.S. incidence of HPV-positive OPSCC was 4.62 [95% confidence interval (CI), 4.51-4.73] versus 1.82 (95% CI, 1.75-1.89) per 100,000 persons for HPV-negative OPSCC. The incidence of HPV-positive versus negative non-OPSCC of the head and neck was 0.62 (95% CI, 0.58-0.66) versus 1.38 (95% CI, 1.32-1.44). White race (5.47) and male sex (8.00) had the highest incidences of HPV-positive OPSCC, with a unimodal age incidence distribution peaking at ages 60 to 64 years (27.23). HPV positivity was associated with lower cancer-specific mortality than HPV-negative disease for OPSCC [adjusted HR (aHR), 0.40; P < 0.001], but not non-OPSCC (aHR, 1.08; P = 0.81), P interaction = 0.002.Conclusions: The U.S. incidence of HPV-positive OPSCC was 4.62 per 100,000 persons. Most cases were found in white male patients younger than 65 years, where it represents the sixth most common incident nonskin cancer. The favorable prognosis associated with HPV appears to be limited to the oropharynx.Impact: This large population-based epidemiologic assessment of the U.S. population defines the incidence and demographic burden of HPV-positive OPSCC.

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