Smoking, human papillomavirus infection, and p53 mutation as risk factors in oropharyngeal cancer: a case-control study
PKS Chan1, JSY Chor2, AC Vlantis3, TL Chow4, SC Fung5, CH Lau6, FYH Ng7, CS Wong2
1 Department of Microbiology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
2 School of Public Health and Primary Care, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
3 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
4  Head and Neck Division, Department of Surgery, United Christian Hospital
5 Department of Dentistry and Maxillofacial Surgery, United Christian Hospital
6 Department of Surgery, Queen Elizabeth Hospital
7 Department of Surgery, Kwong Wah Hospital
1. In Hong Kong, infection with high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) over the head and neck mucosa is not uncommon.
2. The association between HPV and head and neck cancer is site-specific, and mainly confined to the oropharynx.
3. About 26% to 30% of oropharyngeal carcinoma is associated with high-risk HPV infection, mostly HPV16. Smoking that predisposes to TP53 mutation is another risk factor.
4. There is a potential to use HPV-based non-invasive methods to screen for early oropharyngeal carcinoma. Early detection of HPV-associated cancer is associated with better response to treatment and should be a public health priority.