Oropharyngeal cancer

Clin Adv Hematol Oncol. 2008 Aug;6(8):604-12.


Carcinoma of the oropharynx is of squamous histology in over 90% of cases. Oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) displays significant heterogeneity in terms of etiology, biology, and clinical behavior. It has now become clear that a subset is initiated by infection with high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) types, especially type 16. This review summarizes the epidemiology, clinical presentation, molecular pathogenesis, diagnosis, and therapy of OSCC, focusing on the HPV-associated cases; it also details the need for a better understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of the different types of OSCC in order to improve treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / epidemiology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / urine
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / virology
  • Female
  • Human papillomavirus 16
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oropharyngeal Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Oropharyngeal Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Oropharyngeal Neoplasms* / metabolism
  • Oropharyngeal Neoplasms* / urine
  • Oropharyngeal Neoplasms* / virology
  • Papillomavirus Infections* / diagnosis
  • Papillomavirus Infections* / epidemiology
  • Papillomavirus Infections* / metabolism
  • Papillomavirus Infections* / urine