publication date: Dec. 22, 2016

Head and Neck Cancer Immune Response to HPV Has Impact on Prognosis

Head and neck cancer patients with evidence of human papillomavirus infection generally have a better prognosis than people without evidence of infection.

A study, “Immune response to HPV16 E6 and E7 proteins and patient outcomes in head and neck cancer” published in JAMA Oncology demonstrates that measuring a patient›s immune response to HPV provides a robust prognostic signal, suggesting that in the future a blood serum test for two specific HPV antibodies may replace traditional pathology testing.

“This study was a measure of immune-response to HPV and how it predicts patient outcome. Importantly, we investigated this question for all patient groups, and not just patients with oropharyngeal cancer which allowed us to determine that HPV was important for all forms of head and neck cancer,” said lead author Heather Nelson, co-leader, Screening, Prevention, Etiology and Cancer Survivorship Program, Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, and associate professor, School of Public Health, UMN.

The authors demonstrate that this immune response to HPV was beneficial for head and neck cancer patients irrespective of the anatomic location of tumor, or personal history of tobacco and alcohol consumption.

The study examined blood serum samples and five-year survival rates among more than 1,000 Boston-area head and … Continue reading CCL Dec 2016 – Immune Response to HPV Has Impact on Prognosis

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