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Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Specialty

Medical Oncology

Advisor

Dr. Elyse Watkins

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this case report is to call attention to the association of underlying autoimmune disorders requiring immune-modulating therapy and HPV-positive and/or p16-positive OPSCC.

Method: A PubMed literature search was conducted with search terms autoimmune disorders, head and neck cancer, and immunosuppressants. Seven articles were retrieved and served as supporting material for this paper.

Results: Clinical evidence suggests a link between patients with autoimmune disorders treated with immunosuppressants developing HPV-positive oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma. However, a lack of evidence-based large-scale research and literature exist to demonstrate a statistically significant positive correlation between the entities.

Conclusion: This case report suggests a link between autoimmune disorders and HPV-positive oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma may exist even in patients not otherwise at risk. Current data are insufficient to conclude a direct causation between pre-existing autoimmune disorders and the development of HPV-positive oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma. Moreover, the implications of immunosuppressant use on the development of HPV-positive oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma also remains elusive. Further research is needed to establish a correlation between autoimmune disorders, immunosuppressants, and HPV-positive oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma.

Keywords: autoimmune disorder, head and neck cancer, immunosuppression, immunosuppressants, oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma, human papilloma virus, HPV

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