HPV vaccination to prevent oropharyngeal carcinoma: What can be learned from anogenital vaccination programs?

Oral Oncol. 2015 Dec;51(12):1057-60. doi: 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2015.10.011. Epub 2015 Oct 29.


Human papillomavirus (HPV) infections are well known causes of anogenital cancers. Recent studies show that HPV also plays a role in oropharyngeal cancer (OPC). A review on the role of HPV vaccination in the prevention of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) with special emphasis on OPC was conducted and available vaccines and vaccination strategies in HNSCC and OPC are discussed. Prophylactic vaccination is known to be effective for prevention of anogenital HPV infection and precursor lesions in the cervix and anus. While the value of vaccination for prevention of OPC and possibly as an adjuvant treatment is still an open question, evidence to date supports the possibility that HPV vaccination may prove to be effective in reducing the incidence of this malignancy.

Keywords: Cancer; Head and neck; Human papilloma virus; Oropharyngeal; Vaccination.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anus Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / prevention & control*
  • Condylomata Acuminata / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oropharyngeal Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / prevention & control*
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Urogenital Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Vaccination / methods*


  • Papillomavirus Vaccines