UCSF OHNS Researchers Contribute to Study on Recurrence of HPV-Associated Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma

May 16, 2022
Chase Heaton, MD

Smoking may interact with tumor subsites within the oropharynx to influence recurrence risk, according to recent findings by a research team from UC San Francisco (UCSF).

In the retrospective observational study, the researchers reviewed 171 patients with human papillomavirus-associated oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (HPV+ OPSCC) to describe risk of recurrence and recurrence characteristics between ever- and never-smoking patients. The team share the findings in the paper, "Impact of Smoking and Primary Tumor Subsite on Recurrence in HPV-Associated Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma."

"Understanding the association between smoking and HPV+ OPSCC recurrence could lead to personalized, evidence-based treatments to improve oncologic outcomes," write the authors.

Using a multivariable analysis stratified by primary tumor subsite, the team found the ever-smoking status was associated with higher risk of recurrence than never-smoking status in base of tongue primaries, but with lower risk of recurrence in tonsillar primaries.

"This is an important study to help us better understand the relationship between smoking and tumor recurrence for tumors with primary subsites in different parts of the oropharynx," says UCSF Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (OHNS)'s Chase Heaton, MD, senior author on the study. "These findings will help us assess the risk that each of our patients face according to their own unique circumstances."

Co-authors from UCSF OHNS include Tania Benjamin, MDIvan El-Sayed, MDJonathan George, MD, MPHPatrick Ha, MD, and William Ryan, MD. Additional authors from UCSF include Rex Lee, the first author, and Madeleine Salesky, both of whom are current medical students. This work was published in Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery.

Read more about research and news at UCSF OHNS.