Age-independent increasing prevalence of Human Papillomavirus-driven oropharyngeal carcinomas in North-East Italy

Annarosa Del Mistro, Helena Frayle, Anna Menegaldo, Niccolò Favaretto, Silvia Gori, Piero Nicolai, Giacomo Spinato, Salvatore Romeo, Giancarlo Tirelli, Maria Cristina da Mosto, Jerry Polesel, Paolo Boscolo Rizzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


HPV-driven oropharyngeal carcinomas (OPCs) show geographical variations with increasing temporal trends in several areas. We investigated their frequency and clinical outcomes within a prospective multicenter cohort study in North-East Italy. A tumor was defined as HPV-driven by using at least two different biomarkers, usually HPV-DNA positivity and p16INK4A overexpression. Different survival outcomes were compared among patients with HPV-driven and non-HPV-driven tumors. Overall, 42/130 (32.3%) patients with newly diagnosed OPC during the period 2000–2018 resulted HPV-driven; HPV16 was involved in 37 cases (88%), HPV33 in 3 cases (7%), HPV58 and HPV18 in 1 case each. Over time, HPV-driven cases raised from 16.7% (6/36) during 2000–2006 to 46.1% (24/52) during 2013–2018 (p < 0.001). The increase in HPV-driven OPCs was more marked in females than males (p = 0.010), and the frequency of HPV-driven cases was similar in the different age groups. In comparison to cases with non-HPV-driven tumors, a significantly (p < 0.001) better progression-free and overall survival were recorded among patients affected by HPV-driven OPC. The prevalence of HPV-driven OPC cases has been significantly increasing during the last two decades also in North-East Italy and was associated with favorable outcome. OPCs driven by non-HPV16 oncogenic types were restricted to patients older than 68-yrs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9320
Number of pages10
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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