Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Associated Oropharyngeal Cancer – A Pathological and Epidemiological Literature Review

Presented in 13th Emirates Pathology, Digital Pathology & Cancer Conference Holiday Inn Dubai, UAE & Virtual
Poster Presenter Name: Miss Akua Asare (UK)
Research interest:
Pathology, Dermatology, Medical education

Global Journal of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
Unified Citation Journals, Pathology 2024, ISSN 2754-0952
Keywords: HPV, OPSCC, Epidemiology, Head & Neck
Akua Asare1, 1King’s College London  (, Guy’s Campus, Great Maze Pond, London SE1 1UL)

Biography:  Miss Asare is currently in her 3rd year of undertaking her degree in Medicine at King’s College London. This year she was awarded a first class classification mark in her scholarly research project module, based on her research on HPV associated Oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas. She has an interest in Medical Education, thus resulting in her being awarded a Junior Association of Medical Education’s abstract award in 2022 at their yearly conference. She is the Vice President for King’s College London’s Health Humanities Society and is also working towards being an Associate of King’s College London.

A literature review was conducted to investigate the pathological basis and epidemiology of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) in association with Oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas (OPSCCs).
It was found that more than 200 HPV types exist, which infect cutaneous and/or mucosal epithelia. Of these, 14 high-risk types have been identified by the WHO. Of these, HPV-16 is the most common, accounting for 85% of all HPV+ OPSCCs. [1,2]
This review outlines the importance of understanding its pathology and epidemiology as HPV+ OPSCC is one of the most rapidly increasing cancers in high-income countries, with well-documented risk factors.
These include links between alcohol and tobacco consumption with HPV− OPSCC, and a high number of sexual partners or oral sexual practices with HPV+ OPSCC.[1]
Furthermore, the most recent staging system differentiates HPV+ OPSCCs from HPV- OPSCCs to reflect the superior prognosis of HPV+ OPSCCs. This distinction is relevant as it helps inform the use of adjuvant targeted therapies and immunotherapies, preventing over-treatment when planning surgery. Caucasian males in their 5th to 6th decade of life are the key demographic for OPSCCs in both HPV+ and HPV- subtypes [3].
Low and middle income sub-Saharan African and South-Asian countries are responsible for a high proportion of cervical HPV cancer cases, yet there is a lack of research into HPV associated OPSCC in these regions.
This should be explored further to gain a better understanding of the epidemiological factors at play.

Table 1
A summary of the 7 key hallmarks of tumour genesis as proposed by Hanahan and Weinberg, in no particular order.

Table 2
The differences of HPV+ and HPV– OPSCC; adapted from Lechner et al.

[1] Lechner, M., Liu, J., Masterson, L. et al. HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancer: epidemiology, molecular biology and clinical management. Nat Rev Clin Oncol 19, 306–327 (2022).
[2] Kreimer, A. R., Clifford, G. M., Boyle, P. & Franceschi, S. Human papillomavirus types in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas worldwide: a systemic review. Cancer Epidemiol. Biomark. Prev. 14, 467–475 (2005).
[3] Mahal, B. A. et al. Incidence and demographic burden of HPV-associated oropharyngeal head and neck cancers in the United States. Cancer Epidemiol. Biomark. Prev. 28, 1660–1667 (2019).

Cancer, Immunodeficiency States, Immunophenotyping, Molecular Diagnostics & Proteomics, Evolutionary Medicine, Functional Identification & Biomarkers, Hematopoietic & other Malignancies, Anatomical Pathology, Clinical Pathology, Dermato Pathology, Forensic Pathology, Hemato Pathology, Histopathology, Molecular Pathology, Surgical Pathology, Histopathology, Chemical Pathology, Hematopathology, Histopathology, Cytopathology, Forensic Pathology, Dermatopathology, Clinical Biochemistry, Infection Control, Cytokines, Enzymology, Endocrinology, Cellular Lineage, Virology, Rheology, Toxicology, Neuropathology, Diagnostic Pathology, Mesothelial Proliferations, Transfusion medicine, Clinical microbiology, Cytogenetics, Molecular Genetics Pathology, Immunopathology, Veterinary Pathology, Anatomical Pathology, General Pathology

Upcoming Conferences;

  1. 14th Emirates Pathology, Digital Pathology & Cancer Conference 
    More Details:
    Submit your abstract/research papers/case- study here:
    Attend as a Speaker/Poster/Delegate In-person kindly register here: 
    Attend as a Speaker/Poster/Delegate virtually kindly register here:
  2. 12th World Digital Pathology & AI UCGCongress
    More Details:  
    Submit your abstract/research papers/case- study here:
    Attend as a Speaker/Poster/Delegate In-person kindly register here:
    Attend as a Speaker/Poster/Delegate virtually kindly register here:

Related Articles

Back to top button