Dr. Elyse Watkins
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
Kemp HN. HPV-positive Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma Among Patients with Pre-existing Autoimmune Disorders. University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository. 2022; 4(2).
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