HPV status and survival in non-oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck

Vanessa B. Wookey, Adams Kusi Appiah, Avyakta Kallam, Vinicius Ernani, Lynette M. Smith, Apar Kishor Ganti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background/Aim: HPV-mediated oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma is associated with an increased survival. The prognostic value of HPV status for other primary sites is unclear. We aimed to assess the effect of HPV status on overall survival in patients with nonoropharyngeal head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (non-OPSCC) using the National Cancer Database (NCDB). Patients and Methods: Adults with non-OPSCC [gum, lip, floor of mouth, tongue (excluding base), hypopharynx, nasopharynx, other pharynx] and known HPV status were included in our study. Associations between HPV status, primary site, patient characteristics and overall survival (OS) were assessed. Results: HPV positivity was associated with a better OS compared to HPV-negative patients (HR=0.83, 95%CI=0.74-0.93, p<0.001). Female gender, gum, lip, nasopharynx primaries, and private insurance predicted for improved OS. Conclusion: HPV positivity and female gender are good prognostic factors in non-OPSCC. Routine HPV testing should be considered for HPV positive non-OPSCC, as well as studies evaluating de-escalation of treatment if this association is confirmed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1907-1914
Number of pages8
JournalAnticancer Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2019


  • Carcinoma
  • HPV
  • Head and neck neoplasms
  • Non-oropharyngeal
  • Prognosis
  • Squamous cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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