Survival Gains in HPV Infected African Americans with Throat Cancer
The investigators based the current study on recent evidence that African American patients with oropharyngeal cancer (OPSCC) have a lower HPV prevalence rate than Caucasian Americans with corresponding poorer outcomes. However, those studies were limited by the lack of representation of HPV-positive AA patients. Thus the aim of this study was to “compare survival outcomes in HPV-positive and HPV-negative African Americans with OPSCC, in a retrospective primary OPSCC cohort with 42% African Americans.”
According to the investigators, 70 patients tested HPV negative (HPV-neg) and 46 tested HPV positive (HPV-pos). African Americans in the study demonstrated a lower prevalence than Caucasian Americans (27% and 49% respectively, P=0.035). HPV-pos patients were more likely to be diagnosed with late stage OPSCC (OR=4.21, P=0.036) than patients who are HPV-neg. Additionally, HPV-neg patients had 4.8 times the risk of death as HPV-pos patients. “Overall, there was significantly poorer survival for HPV-neg African Americans vs HPV-pos African Americans (P=0.049); HPV-pos Caucasian Americans (P≤0.001); and HPV-neg Caucasian Americans (P=0.021).
The investigators concluded: “HPV has a substantial impact on overall survival in African American OPSCC. HPV-neg African Americans not only had poorer survival than HPV-pos African Americans, but also did worse than both HPV-pos Caucasian Americans and HPV-neg Caucasian Americans.”