Background: Human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive oropharyngeal cancer (HPV-OPC) is distinct from HPV-unassociated head and neck cancer. However, whether risk factors for HPV-positive oropharyngeal and nonoropharyngeal squamous cell cancer are the same is unclear. Methods: Incident cases of HPV-positive head and neck cell cancer and matched non-cancer controls were enrolled in a multi-institutional, prospective study examining risk factors, biomarkers, and survival. Results: HPV-nonOPC (n = 20) were more likely to be ever smokers than controls (n = 80, OR 3.49, 95%CI 1.11-10.9) and HPV-OPC (n = 185, OR 3.28, 95%CI 1.10-10.2). Compared with HPV-OPC, HPV-nonOPC were less likely to have had over 3 oral sexual partners (OR 0.29, 95%CI 0.06-0.9), more likely to have multimorbidity (OR 3.30, 95%CI 1.04-10.5), and less likely to have antibodies to HPV16 E6 (90% vs 28%, OR 0.05, 95%CI 0.02-0.2). HPV-nonOPC had worse 4-year OS (77% vs 96%, P =.001) and RFS (69% vs 94%, P <.001) than HPV-OPC. Conclusions: HPV-positive nonoropharyngeal are distinct from HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancers.
- head and neck cancer
- oropharyngeal cancer