The link between human papillomavirus (HPV) and an increasing proportion of oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) is well known in white men. D’Souza et al explored the role of HPV tumor status in women and nonwhites with oropharyngeal SCC and patients with nonoropharyngeal head and neck SCC. The cohort included 863 patients with oral cavity, oropharynx, larynx, or nasopharynx SCC. Most oropharyngeal cancers in all sex and race groups were HPV positive. The proportion of oropharyngeal (but not nonoropharyngeal) head and neck cancers associated with HPV increased in all sex and race groups.
Editorial, Related Articles 1 and 2
In a population-based study of 1054 patients with head and neck cancer, Nelson and colleagues investigated whether immune response to human papillomavirus (HPV) E6 and E7 proteins can predict patient outcomes. They found positive seroresponse to be associated with significantly improved outcome for all forms of head and neck cancer. The authors argue that seropositivity to HPV E6 and E7 proteins may be a useful alternative or adjunct to pathology-based HPV testing. An Editorial by Dahlstrom et al adds context to these findings, as well as those of D’Souza et al, and provides insight for next steps in this field.
In a cohort study of contralateral breast cancer (CBC) risk among 7541 patients, Gierach and colleagues sought to determine the association between adjuvant tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitor therapy and CBC risk within a community setting. Tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitor therapy was significantly associated with reduced CBC risk during treatment. The authors likewise found that CBC risk decreased as tamoxifen therapy duration increased, with protective associations persisting for at least 5 years after stopping tamoxifen therapy. The authors argue that patients should thus be encouraged to complete the full course of treatment. Abderrahman and Jordan provide an Editorial.
Author Video Interview
This systematic review and meta-analysis investigated the prognostic role of primary tumor location in patients with colon cancer. In an analysis of 66 studies with more than 1.4 million patients, Petrelli and colleagues found that left-sided primary tumor location was associated with a significantly reduced risk of death. They argue that colon cancer primary tumor sidedness should be acknowledged as a criterion for establishing prognosis in earlier and advanced stages of disease. Goldberg and Ciombor provide an Editorial.
Continuing Medical Education
This secondary analysis of the NeoALTTO trial sought to determine whether a gene signature could be identified that predicted clinical response after neoadjuvant HER2-directed therapy. Fumagalli and colleagues used RNA sequencing to assess gene expression–based biomarkers. They found that pathological complete response was associated with high expression of ERBB2/HER2 and low expression of ESR1. In addition, in some groups, high expression of immune and stromal gene signatures was significantly associated with higher and lower pathological complete response rates, respectively. These data define sets of genes that should be further explored as candidate predictive markers.
Highlights. JAMA Oncol. 2017;3(2):143. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2016.1669