Improving post-crt neck assessment in patients with HPV-associated opscc (Review)

Michael Wotman, Maged Ghaly, Luke Massaro, Tristan Tham, Nagashree Seetharamu, Dev Kamdar, Douglas Frank, Dennis Kraus, Sewit Teckie

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The positive predictive value (PPV) of 12-week post-therapy FDG-PET/CT is low in patients with Human Papillomavirus (HPV)-associated Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma (OPSCC) after treatment with definitive chemoradiation (CRT). Moreover, the diagnostic performance of post-CRT fine needle aspiration (FNA) in detecting persistent disease is unknown in this population. Given these important shortcomings in post-CRT treatment assess-ment, head and neck oncologists are limited in appropriately selecting patients for consolidative neck dissection, which results in over-treatment of a favorable risk population. Using the PubMed database, we performed a literature review of published series in HPV-associated OPSCC to investigate potential strategies for improvement of post-CRT neck assessment. Several different approaches were found, including continued surveillance with PET/CT, delayed timing of restaging PET/CT, initial response evaluation with multimodality or alternative imaging, and detection of circulating HPV DNA. At present, the optimal approach to post-CRT treatment assessment is unclear; further investigation and incorporation of new technologies and surveillance protocols will be highly beneficial for patients with HPV-associated OPSCC.

Original languageEnglish
Article number24
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular and Clinical Oncology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Chemoradiotherapy
  • Head and neck neoplasms
  • Neck dissection
  • Oropharyngeal neoplasms
  • Papillomaviridae
  • Positron-emission tomography


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