Current state of play for HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancers

Cancer Treat Rev. 2022 Nov:110:102439. doi: 10.1016/j.ctrv.2022.102439. Epub 2022 Jul 26.


Clinically, HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancers (OPCs) have been shown to have a distinct prognosis, compared to HPV-negative tumours, particularly in survival rates and responses to treatment. These patients have better survival chances and improved prognosis, indicating that a more exhaustive knowledge of these distinctions would aid in the discovery of clinical approaches for both HPV-positive and negative tumours. Furthermore, there is increasing evidence that HPV-related oropharyngeal cancers constitute an epidemiological, molecular, and clinical distinct form as compared to non-HPV related ones therefore, the treatment of these specific subtype of oropharyngeal cancers should adopt a distinct clinical treatment pipeline. Our review will examine the current approaches for the diagnosis and treatment of OPC and discuss the relevance of de-escalation clinical trials in progress.

Keywords: Current diagnosis and treatments; De-escalation therapies; HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancers.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Oropharyngeal Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Oropharyngeal Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Papillomaviridae
  • Papillomavirus Infections* / complications
  • Prognosis
  • Survival Rate