HPV vaccination in head and neck HPV-related pathologies

Otolaryngol Pol. 2014 Jul-Aug;68(4):157-73. doi: 10.1016/j.otpol.2014.05.004. Epub 2014 Jun 3.


Recent data demonstrate that human papilloma virus (HPV) plays a role in pathologies other than ano-genital cancers, specifically head and neck malignancies, and non-cancerous conditions such as recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP). High-risk HPV16 and 18, and low risk HPV6 and 11 play the main role in HPV-related pathologies. As more and more information about the role of HPV infection in non-cervical diseases is amassed, additional questions about whether prophylactic HPV vaccines will effectively prevent these conditions are raised. HPV vaccination programs for the cervical pathology are being implemented worldwide. In the United States, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the quadrivalent HPV vaccine for girls in 2006 and for boys in 2011. These vaccination programs were aimed at the genital, HPV-related lesions, and there was not much recognition at that time of how HPV vaccination programs might affect oral HPV infection, which is a risk factor for the development of HPV-related head and neck cancers. Vaccination has proved to be a successful policy, and an extant recommendation is aimed at preventing HPV and associated cervical and other anogenital cancers with the routine use of HPV vaccines for males and females. However, HPV vaccines are presently not recommended for preventing oropharyngeal cancer (OPC), although they have been shown to be highly effective against the HPV strains that are most commonly found in the oropharynx. This review is aimed at presenting the evidence-based knowledge concerning HPV vaccination and highlighting the trials and strategies for vaccine administration in HPV-dependent head and neck pathologies.

Keywords: HPV; Laryngeal papillomatosis; Oral cavity cancer; RRP; Vaccine; brodawczakowatość krtani; rak jamy ustnej i gardła; szczepionki.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Female
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Health Policy
  • Humans
  • Immunization Programs / standards*
  • Male
  • Papillomavirus Infections / complications*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / prevention & control
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / prevention & control*
  • United States
  • Vaccination / standards*


  • Papillomavirus Vaccines

Supplementary concepts

  • Recurrent respiratory papillomatosis