Article Abstract

Human papillomavirus and oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma: a 12-year retrospective review in a New South Wales tertiary referral centre

Authors: Alon Taylor, Thomas Eade, David Veivers, Anthony J. Gill, Leo Pang


Background: To compare the epidemiology andsurvival outcomes of Australian patients with HPV-positive and -negativeoropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) using a standalone p16 approach.
Methods: A retrospective analysis of medicalrecord data was performed for patients presenting with OPSCC to Royal NorthShore Hospital in Sydney, Australia from 2005 to 2017. p16 immunohistochemistry(IHC) was used as a biomarker for HPV status. Epidemiological trends and clinicopathologicaldetails were compared between the HPV-positive and -negative cohorts.Three-year overall survival rates and the hazard ratio conferred by HPVpositivity were calculated.
Results: A total of 244 patients were includedwith 202 (82.8%) having HPV-positive disease. The yearly incidence ofHPV-positive OPSCC increased from 2005 to 2016 (P<0.001), driven almostexclusively by HPV-positive disease in me. Those with HPV-positive tumours weremore likely to present younger (P=0.005), be male (P=0.008), non-smokers(P<0.001) have a lower T stage (P=0.001) and a higher N stage (P=0.001).HPV-positivity conferred more favourable rates of 3-year overall survival(93.6% vs. 68.9%) and a hazard ratio for death of 0.16 (95% CI,0.05–0.53, P<0.001).
Conclusions: This studycorroborates and extends Australian data demonstrating that patients withHPV-positive OPSCC represent a distinct subgroup associated with asignificantly better survival.