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Research Letter
June 2016

Human Papillomavirus Genotype Association With Survival in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Author Affiliations
  • 1Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
JAMA Oncol. 2016;2(6):823-826. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2015.6587

The presence of human papillomavirus (HPV) has recently been recognized as a strong positive prognostic factor for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSC) and is used to select patients for risk-adapted treatment regimens. A positive immunohistochemical (IHC) finding for p16 is used as a surrogate for HPV based on the high concordance between these 2 biomarkers1,2; however, p16 IHC analysis cannot distinguish between HPV-16 (the most common HPV genotype found in HNSC) and other HPV genotypes. We investigated the prognostic consequences of distinct HPV genotypes within HNSC.

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