Behavioral analysis of HPV+ oropharyngeal cancer: Do you know your patients?

Annika Meyer, Daniel A. Alicea, Rocco M. Ferrandino, Brett A. Miles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Evaluate the epidemiologic makeup of a population of HPV+ OPSCC patients treated at one institution over approximately a decade. Study design: Prospective survey study of HPV+ OPSCC treated between 2007 and 2016. Setting: Mount Sinai Health System Subjects and methods: Patients aged 18+ who underwent treatment for HPV+ OPSCC. 223 patients were asked to complete a health survey including substance use and sexual history in order to specifically characterize the social behaviors of patients with HPV + OPSCC. Results: Eighty-two patients responded, 70 male (85.4%) and 12 female (14.6%). While half of patients were nonsmokers, 18.3% had a smoking history of <15 pack years, and 32.9% had a 15+ pack-year smoking history. Nearly 25% reported significant drinking history (3+ drinks/day). Males had an average of 18 lifetime sexual partners, and females had 7 partners. Eight patients reported >100 sexual partners. Conclusions: HPV+ OPSCC was more prevalent in white males with a high number of lifetime sexual partners, as expected. Careful evaluation revealed other findings of significance that are not generally associated with this population. Half of our patients had significant historical tobacco and alcohol consumption. One quarter of patients had a history of another malignancy. These findings highlight the importance of taking a comprehensive history when determining appropriate treatment or designing future de-escalation trials in HPV+ OPSCC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-381
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 May 2019


  • Epidemiology
  • Human papillomavirus
  • Oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma
  • Sexual behavior
  • Social history


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