Local experts relate HPV to oropharyngeal cancer
HPV infection is widely known as a risk factor for cervical cancer. However, the virus is linked to a broader range of cancers.
The Shanghai Cancer Center has claimed that local medical experts have discovered a link between HPV infection and oropharyngeal cancer. The discovery can help expand anti-cancer immunotherapy.
Oropharyngeal cancer has become more common in recent years, and the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) has been identified as a risk factor. HPV-positive tumors have been identified as a unique category of head and neck malignancies, accounting for roughly 60 percent of all oropharyngeal cancers.
According to Dr Lu Xueguan of the Shanghai Cancer Center, whose team discovered that roughly 60 percent of the hospital's patients are HPV positive – the same as in Western countries – domestic awareness of HPV-related oropharyngeal malignancies is poor, and its occurrence is also underestimated.
"The rising incidence and a younger patient population are a barrier for clinical diagnosis and therapy," Lu said.
"The good news is that people with HPV-related cancer have better therapy options than HPV-negative patients. With the advancement of radiotherapy, chemotherapy and immunotherapy, more patients can control their disease without the use of surgery. However, it is difficult to choose these people for precise treatment."
Research has revealed that the effects of chemotherapy, radiation, and immunotherapy are all intertwined with the tumor immune micro-environment. For local experts, it is the key to researching HPV-associated cancer. They have successfully identified the target as CD161+CTL, which is directly related to therapy effects and patient survival.
The finding was published in the prestigious journal Cancer Immunology Research.