Having non-invasive ways of diagnosing diseases, especially hard to reach cancers, is a huge step forward in scientific research - when it happens. Well a new study published in the Clinical Cancer Research validates a new potential screening tool of HPV induced head and neck cancers. In this particular study, researchers from Johns Hopkins University used oral rinses and what is called "targeted DNA amplication" to identify oral HPV infections in patients that had both HPV positive (meaning present) and negative (not present) head and neck cancers.
These rinses successfully identified HPV -16 positive tumors and matched the results of another identifying technique. It was noted that if patients had HPV-16 positive head and neck tumors, they more than likely had oral HPV (in the mouth). And if they had "high risk oral HPV" prior to cancer therapy, it often persisted after treatment. Interestingly enough, HPV persistent infections post cancer treatment did not necessarily mean increased recurrence of head and neck cancer in those patients.
These rinses may hold a wonderful new technology opportunity for diagnosing HPV infection and tracking it in these head and neck tumors. Researchers also want to study why HPV seems to cause tumors and cancers in the head and neck only some of the time.
Published On: October 31, 2008