A1 Journal article – refereed
Presenting symptoms and clinical findings in HPV-positive and HPV-negative oropharyngeal cancer patients

List of Authors: Timo Carpén, Anni Sjöblom, Marie Lundberg, Caj Haglund, Antti Markkola, Stina Syrjänen, Jussi Tarkkanen, Antti Mäkitie, Jaana Hagström, Petri Mattila
Publisher: Taylor and Francis Ltd
Publication year: 2018
Journal: Acta Oto-laryngologica
Journal name in source: Acta Oto-Laryngologica
Volume number: 138
Issue number: 5
Number of pages: 6
ISSN: 0001-6489
eISSN: 1651-2251


Oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) is divided in two
different disease entities depending on HPV involvement. We investigated
differences in presenting symptoms and clinical findings in patients
with HPV-positive and -negative OPSCC tumors.

Altogether 118 consecutive patients diagnosed with primary OPSCC
between 2012 and 2014 at the Helsinki University Hospital were included.
HPV-status of the tumors was assessed by PCR detection of HPV DNA and
immunostaining with p16-INK4a antibody.

Fifty-one (47.7%) of the patients had HPV-positive and 56 (52.3%)
HPV-negative tumors. Forty-nine (49/51, 96.1%) of the HPV+ tumors were
also p16+ showing high concordance. The most common presenting symptom
among HPV+/p16+ patients was a neck mass (53.1%), whereas any sort of
pain in the head and neck area was more frequently related to the
HPV−/p16− (60.0%) group. HPV+/p16+ tumors had a tendency to locate in
the tonsillar complex and more likely had already spread into regional
lymph nodes compared with HPV−/p16− tumors. Smoking and heavy alcohol
consumption were significantly more common among HPV−/p16− patients but
also rather common among HPV+/p16+ patients.

This analysis of symptoms and signs confirm that OPSCC can be
dichotomized in two distinct disease entities as defined by HPV status.

Last updated on 2019-21-08 at 20:18