Population-Based Analysis of Trends in Incidence and Survival of Human Papilloma Virus-Related Oropharyngeal Cancer in a Low-Burden Region of Southern Europe

Rubió Casadevall, Jordi
Ciurana Montiel, Elna de
Puigdemont, Montserrat
Sanvisens, Arantza
Marruecos, Jordi
Miró, Josefina
Urban, Antoni
Palhua, Rosa Lisset
Martín-Romero, Ferran
Ortiz Duran, Maria Rosa
Introduction: Human papilloma virus (HPV)-related oropharyngeal carcinoma (OPC) can be considered a new subtype of cancer with different clinical characteristics and prognosis than that related to tobacco. Its incidence is increasing worldwide. Its epidemiology has been widely studied in areas such as North America and Northern Europe, but less is known in Southern Europe. Methods: We analyzed the epidemiology of OPC using the database from Girona’s population-based Cancer Registry, in the North-East of Spain, from 1994 to 2018. To analyze differences between neoplasms related to human papillomavirus or not, we determined the immunohistochemical expression of p16 in cases within four time periods: 1997–1999, 2003–2005, 2009–2011, and 2016–2018. Results: Oropharyngeal cancer incidence increased significantly from 2001 to 2018 with an Annual Percentage of Change (APC) of 4.1. OPC p16-positive cases increased with an APC of 11.1. In the most recent period, 2016–2018, 38.5% of OPC cases were p16-positive. European age-standardized incidence rate was 4.18 cases/100.000 inhabitants-year for OPC cancer and 1.58 for those p16-positive. Five-year observed survival was 66.3% for p16-positive OPC and 37.7% for p16-negative. Conclusions: Although with lower burden than in other regions, p16-positive oropharyngeal cancer is increasing in our area and has a better prognosis than p16-negative OPC ​
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