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Routine HPV Testing May Be Warranted for Sinonasal Cancers

HPV-positive sinonasal squamous cell carcinoma associated with improved overall survival

nose and lips

FRIDAY, Jan. 3, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Only one in four patients with sinonasal squamous cell carcinoma (SNSCC) is tested for human papillomavirus (HPV), according to a study published online Dec. 30 in Cancer.

Jamie R. Oliver, from the New York University School of Medicine in New York City, and colleagues used the National Cancer Data Base (2010 to 2016) to identify 6,458 SNSCC cases and assess patterns of HPV testing and its association with survival in patients with SNSCC.

The researchers found that only 23.6 percent of patients (1,523) were tested for HPV, 62.1 percent of whom had advanced-stage tumors. HPV-positive SNSCC accounted for 31.5 percent (447 of 1,418 cases) of the final study cohort. Patients with HPV-positive SNSCC were younger (median age, 60 years versus 65 years) and were more likely to have high-grade tumors (55.3 versus 41.7 percent) and tumors attributed to the nasal cavity (62.2 versus 44.0 percent). HPV-positive SNSCC was associated with significantly improved overall survival (hazard ratio, 0.45), including in propensity score-matched (hazard ratio, 0.61) analyses that controlled for clinicodemographic and treatment factors.

"Routine HPV testing, as currently is recommended for patients with oropharyngeal tumors, might be warranted in individuals with SNSCC as well," the authors write. "The impact of an HPV association on survival in patients with SNSCC requires further investigation."

One author disclosed financial ties to Illumina, AstraZeneca, and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

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