Oropharyngeal cancer: locoregional disease linked to HPV DNA levels

  • Oral Oncol

  • von Brian Richardson, PhD
  • Univadis Clinical Summaries
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Takeaway

  • Salivary levels of HPV DNA are associated with locoregional disease in patients with HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancer (OPC).

Why this matters

  • HPV DNA measurement might represent a noninvasive tool for predicting treatment response.

Key results

  • Recurrent, persistent locoregional disease was associated with higher median baseline normalized salivary HPV DNA compared with distant disease only (10.9 vs 0.6 copies/ng; P=.01).
  • Total tumor burden in patients with locoregional disease was associated with HPV DNA levels (P=.02).
  • HPV DNA >5 copies/ng had 87% sensitivity and 67% specificity for prediction of locoregional disease.
  • Salivary HPV DNA declined in all patients with locoregional disease response while receiving treatment.
  • Subjects who responded to locoregional cytotoxic therapy with or without radiation had a median decline in salivary HPV DNA by 3.8% per day.
  • Greater Royal Marsden Hospital prognostic score correlated with higher median plasma HPV cell-free DNA levels (P<.01 but this was not significant for normalized salivary hpv dna level>

Study design

  • 21 patients with incurable or metastatic HPV-associated OPC were included.
  • Funding: Expect Miracles Foundation; American Cancer Society; Robert A. and Renee E. Belfer Foundation.

Limitations

  • Small patient sample size.
  • Observational study.