Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mouth Cancer Prognosis Improves When Cervical Cancer Virus Involved

(HealthDay News) -- For patients battling a type of cancer that affects the back of the mouth, the chances of survival increase if the tumor contains the sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer, new research shows.

In fact, the presence of human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most important predictor of survival in oropharyngeal cancer, researchers from the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center-Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC-James) found.

"Previous studies indicated a relationship existed between the presence or absence of HPV in oropharyngeal tumors and patient survival, but they couldn't determine if other favorable factors present in these patients were responsible for their better outcome," lead author Dr. Maura Gillison, an OSUCCC-James medical oncologist and head and neck cancer specialist, said in a news release.

"These findings close the door on these questions," Gillison added, "and will allow the field to move forward with clinical trials designed to determine how we should use molecular and behavioral factors to personalize therapy for patients."

The report was published online June 7 in the New England Journal of Medicine, to coincide with presentation of the findings Monday at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting, in Chicago. Read more...
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