This study provides Australian data on the incidence of human papillomavirus (HPV)-related oropharyngeal cancer to aid the debate on extending the HPV vaccination programme to males. The HPV status for 302 oropharyngeal cancers diagnosed between 1987 and 2006 was determined by HPV E6-targeted multiplex real-time PCR/p16 immunohistochemistry. The overall HPV-positivity rate was 36% (94% types 16 and 18). HPV-related cancer increased from 19% (1987-1990) to 47% (2001-2005). HPV data used in conjunction with Australian cancer incidence data 2001-2005 showed that 1.56 cases of oropharyngeal cancer per 100,000 males per year were associated with HPV types targeted by the vaccine. Vaccinating males may substantially reduce the burden of oropharyngeal cancer in Australia.
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