Human Papillomavirus Prevalence in Oropharyngeal Cancer Before Vaccine Introduction, United States

Martin Steinau; Mona Saraiya; Marc T. Goodman; Edward S. Peters; Meg Watson; Jennifer L. Cleveland; Charles F. Lynch; Edward J. Wilkinson; Brenda Y. Hernandez; Glen Copeland; Maria S. Saber; Claudia Hopenhayn; Youjie Huang; Wendy Cozen; Christopher Lyu; Elizabeth R. Unger


Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2014;20(5):822-828. 

In This Article


This study supports a role for oncogenic HPV in high proportions of oropharyngeal cancers. Future assessments are needed to monitor general prevalence and possible type-specific shifts. Data from the present and future studies will provide a baseline for early assessment of vaccine effects. Because the natural history and pre-cancer stages of oropharyngeal cancers are not established as they are for cervical cancer, direct trials with oropharyngeal neoplasia as the endpoint are not feasible. To obtain meaningful, comparable data for this objective, researchers need a universal definition of the anatomic oropharynx and associated malignancies and agreement on laboratory methods.