Evolving Profile of HPV-Driven Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma in a National Cancer Institute in Italy: A 10-Year Retrospective Study

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Abstract

Globally, 30% of oropharyngeal carcinomas (OPSCC) are caused by Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Recently, increasing incidence trends for HPV-driven OPSCC have been reported in many countries and changes in the typical HPV-positive OPSCC patient have been recorded, with an increase in the median age and diagnoses in women. We investigated the characteristics of the OPSCC patients attending an Italian Cancer Institute from 2010 to 2019 and assessed possible changes overtime of demographic, behavioral, and clinico-pathologic variables of HPV-driven OPSCC. Overall, 339 OPSCCs were evaluated. HPV-DNA and p16 positivity were 48.7% and 55.2%, respectively, with an HPV-driven fraction (i.e., HPV-DNA+/p16+) of 48.3%. We observed a significant increase overtime in the rate of HPV-associated cases (53.7% in 2015-2019 vs. 40.3% in 2010-2014, p = 0.019). The rate of HPV-driven cases was significantly higher among women, never smokers, patients with T1-T2 tumors, and with nodal involvement. A trend was also observed toward an increase in HPV-driven OPSCCs among patients >61 years, women, former smokers, and patients with no nodal involvement in 2015-2019. Our findings consolidate the observation that HPV-associated OPSCCs are also increasing in Italy. Moreover, they suggest that the profile of the HPV-driven OPSCC patient might be changing.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMicroorganisms
Volume8
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 29 2020

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