The emergence of human papillomavirus (HPV) as a significant contributor to the development of oropharyngeal carcinoma has generated significant interest into patient populations exposed to the virus and subsequent development of oropharyngeal carcinoma. Due to the increased treatment sensitivity and improved survival compared to non‐HPV tumors, the natural progression to investigate the presence of HPV exposure in nonoropharyngeal sites is crucial in personalizing treatment regimens to these patient populations.Previous reports have found that HPV has a tropism toward lymphoepithelial‐rich sites in the tonsil and base of tongue; therefore, the nasopharynx is the most intriguing site outside the oropharynx to study the prognostic impact of HPV. Numerous single institution studies have reported on the presence of HPV in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). However, small patient cohorts (5‐125 patients) with wide range of HPV positivity (10%‐80%) make conclusions on such data difficult. The largest multi‐institution cohort of patients with NPC with HPV data available found 13 of 125 patients (10%) harboring evidence of HPV. The accompanying publication by Dr Verma and his colleagues attempts to overcome limitations in patient numbers by using the National Cancer Database (NCDB) to study the prognostic impact of HPV in NPC at a population level. Evaluation of
Head & Neck: Journal for the Sciences & Specialties of the Head and Neck – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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