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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
July 9, 2014

HPV Vaccine for Oropharyngeal Cancer?

JAMA. 2014;312(2):122. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.7061

The vaccine that protects teenage girls and young women against cervical cancer also may help prevent many oropharyngeal cancers in the United States.

A recent analysis showed that 72% of 557 invasive oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma samples tested positive for human papillomavirus (HPV). In nearly two-thirds of those samples, investigators detected HPV-16 and HPV-18, the strains most often linked with cervical cancer (Steinau M et al. Emerg Infect Dis. 2014;20[5]:822-828). Previous studies had shown that HPV was present in 37% to 60% of oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas.