Surgery Improves HPV Related Oropharyngeal SCC Survival Rate

HealthDay News — Patients with human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) have higher 5-year overall survival (OS) and disease-specific survival (DSS) rates after surgery alone, according to a study published in Head & Neck.

Martina A. Broglie, MD, from Kantonsspital St. Gallen in Switzerland, and colleagues conducted a retrospective analysis of survival estimates in patients with surgically treated oropharyngeal SCC, stratifying by tumoral positivity for HPV and risk-of-death categories.

The researchers found that HPV-associated oropharyngeal SCC correlated with higher 5-year OS (80% vs 62%; P = .01) and DSS (92% vs 76%; P = .03) rates after surgery alone. 

Higher survival rates were seen for patients in the low-risk category (OS: 91%; DSS: 99%), compared with the intermediate-risk (OS: 63%; DSS: 83%) and high-risk (OS: 61%; DSS: 75%) groups.

“Nonsmokers with HPV-positive oropharyngeal SCC have a better prognosis than smokers with HPV-positive oropharyngeal SCC and also than patients with HPV-negative tumors when treated by surgery alone,” the authors write.

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Broglie MA, Stoeckli SJ, Sauter R, et al. Impact of human papillomavirus on outcome in patients with oropharyngeal cancer treated with primary surgery [published online July 10, 2017]. Head Neck. doi: 10.1002/hed.24865