Vol 70, No 6 (2020)
Review paper
Published online: 2020-12-04

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A review of combined treatment strategies for HPV(+), p16(+) oropharyngeal cancer – is de-escalated radiotherapy a convincing and promising paradigm?

Bogusław Maciejewski12, Krzysztof Składowski2
Nowotwory. Journal of Oncology 2020;70(6):236-243.


Biological and clinical interest on HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancer (OPC) is rapidly increasing. The genetic and biological characteristics of HPV and p16 expression are presented. The significantly better prognosis (overall survival, locoregional control) of HPV p16(+) OPC patients has been well documented. The leading studies and clinical trials in this field are selected and discussed in details. There is a convincing suggestion that some, low-risk HPV(+) OPC patients might be overtreated. Different approaches with varying degrees of radiotherapy dose de-intensification are critically reviewed and the current de-escalated treatment paradigms are presented and discussed.

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