INTRODUCTIONOver the previous decade, human papillomavirus (HPV) has rapidly come to the forefront as a causative agent in oropharyngeal cancer (OPC). However, these seminal studies that have identified distinct biology and prognosis for HPV‐positive disease have evaluated a minority of non‐OPC disease, with a notable lack of nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC) cases. Although NPC is relatively uncommon in the United States, it is endemic in East Asia and is a public health priority worldwide.Owing to this uncommonality, studies assessing the association between HPV and NPC have been substantially more limited than in OPC. Some have postulated that because HPV infects the epithelium of the lower elements of Waldeyer's ring, there could be some tropism for upper parts of the ring located in the nasopharynx, which could be supported by the finding of HPV‐positive polyps in the nasal cavity. Others have hypothesized that HPV‐positive NPC may be a local extension from oropharyngeal primaries. Yet others have theorized that the World Health Organization I (keratinizing) subset of NPC, not seeming to be associated with Epstein‐Barr virus (EBV), could potentially be related to HPV.Despite the rise of both HPV‐mediated OPC and HPV testing, the relationship between HPV and NPC remains poorly characterized, being
Head & Neck: Journal for the Sciences & Specialties of the Head and Neck – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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