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Monday, June 20, 2016

Combined effects of smoking and HPV16 in oropharyngeal cancer

A new study explored the effects of joint exposure impacts of smoking and HPV infection on oropharyngeal cancer risk. Specifically, the investigators studied if smoking confers any additional risk to HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancer.

Anantharamanet al.  examined the interaction between smoking and HPV16 in 1904 cancer patients and 3024 control from two large European multi-center studies. They observed that both smoking and HPV seropositivity were independently associated with oropharyngeal cancer. The joint association of smoking and HPV infection was additive suggesting they act as independent risk factors for oropharyngeal cancer.

An additional observation was that the prevalence of oropharyngeal cancer increases with smoking for both HPV16-positive and HPV16-negative persons. 

The authors concluded that the impact of smoking on HPV16-positive oropharyngeal cancer highlights the continued need for smoking cessation programs for primary prevention of head and neck cancer.