Human Papillomavirus and Rising Oropharyngeal Cancer Incidence in the United States

National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, 6120 Executive Blvd, EPS 7072, Rockville, MD 20852, USA.
Journal of Clinical Oncology (Impact Factor: 18.43). 11/2011; 29(32):4294-301. DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2011.36.4596
Source: PubMed


Recent increases in incidence and survival of oropharyngeal cancers in the United States have been attributed to human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, but empirical evidence is lacking.
HPV status was determined for all 271 oropharyngeal cancers (1984-2004) collected by the three population-based cancer registries in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Residual Tissue Repositories Program by using polymerase chain reaction and genotyping (Inno-LiPA), HPV16 viral load, and HPV16 mRNA expression. Trends in HPV prevalence across four calendar periods were estimated by using logistic regression. Observed HPV prevalence was reweighted to all oropharyngeal cancers within the cancer registries to account for nonrandom selection and to calculate incidence trends. Survival of HPV-positive and HPV-negative patients was compared by using Kaplan-Meier and multivariable Cox regression analyses.
HPV prevalence in oropharyngeal cancers significantly increased over calendar time regardless of HPV detection assay (P trend < .05). For example, HPV prevalence by Inno-LiPA increased from 16.3% during 1984 to 1989 to 71.7% during 2000 to 2004. Median survival was significantly longer for HPV-positive than for HPV-negative patients (131 v 20 months; log-rank P < .001; adjusted hazard ratio, 0.31; 95% CI, 0.21 to 0.46). Survival significantly increased across calendar periods for HPV-positive (P = .003) but not for HPV-negative patients (P = .18). Population-level incidence of HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancers increased by 225% (95% CI, 208% to 242%) from 1988 to 2004 (from 0.8 per 100,000 to 2.6 per 100,000), and incidence for HPV-negative cancers declined by 50% (95% CI, 47% to 53%; from 2.0 per 100,000 to 1.0 per 100,000). If recent incidence trends continue, the annual number of HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancers is expected to surpass the annual number of cervical cancers by the year 2020.
Increases in the population-level incidence and survival of oropharyngeal cancers in the United States since 1984 are caused by HPV infection.

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    • "Additionally, these vaccines provide no protection against disease for the hundreds of millions of people who are already infected with HPV. Notably in the United States, the number of HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancers are expected to rise and will surpass the annual number of cervical cancers by year 2020 (Chaturvedi and others 2011). Hence, a significant number of individuals are still at risk for developing HPV-related cancer as they are already infected, have not been vaccinated, or will become infected by an HPV type not covered in the current bivalent and quadrivalent vaccines, emphasizing the need to expand HPVrelated cancer prophylaxis strategies. "

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    • "Epidemiologic studies have demonstrated that there has been a decrease in the incidence of oral cavity, hypopharyngeal and laryngeal cancers through the past two decades due to decrease in smoking which is the primary risk factor for these cancers (Sturgis et al., 2011). However, the incidence of oropharyngeal cancer increased due to increase at HPV related cancers at the tonsillar and base of tongue region (Kreimer et al., 2005; Hobbs et al., 2006; Chaturvedi et al., 2011; Sturgis et al., 2011). "

    Full-text · Dataset · Mar 2015
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    • "Indeed, it was not before the year 2010 that an increase in the relative portion of HPV-positive OPSCC became clearly detectable in our patient cohort. This is in clear contrast to the United States and Sweden, where prevalence of HPV in OPSCC already began to rise in the early 1990s [4] [18] [19]. Moreover, while we observed increasing trends for HPV-driven OPSCC until the year 2013, a stabilisation in trends of HPV-related tonsillar carcinoma since 2006 was reported from the Stockholm Cancer Registry [19]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Increases in incidence of oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) in countries with falling tobacco use have been attributed to a growing role of human papilloma virus (HPV) in the carcinogenesis. Trends of HPV prevalence in populations with persistently high portions of smokers are poorly characterised. Registry data from East Germany were used to determine incidence trends between 1998 and 2011. Data from patients treated at the Charité University Medicine Berlin between 2004 and 2013 (cohort 1, N=436) were used for estimation of trends in HPV prevalence, smoking and survival. HPV prevalence was prospectively confirmed in cohort 2 (N=213) comprising all primary HNSCC cases at the Charité in 2013. Between 1998 and 2011 incidence of both OPSCC and non-OPSCC increased. An increase in HPV prevalence (% of HPV+ cases in 2004-2006 versus 2012-2013: 27% versus 59%, P=0.0004) accompanied by a moderate decrease in the portion of current smokers was observed in OPSCC but not in non-OPSCC. The change in disease epidemiology in OPSCC was associated with significant improvement in overall survival. Increased HPV prevalence in OPSCC (48%) compared to non-OPSCC (11%) was confirmed in cohort 2. Despite clear differences to the United States in terms of tobacco use, the increase in OPSCC incidence in a European population was also mainly attributed to HPV, and the HPV status significantly affected prognosis. For clinical trial design it is important to consider the large group of smokers within HPV-induced OPSCC. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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