The study looked at patients with nasopharyngeal cancer, a tumor that grows behind the nose and at the top of the throat, above the tonsils. This rare cancer occurs in less than 1 of every 100,000 Americans.
“Though rare, this is the first report of nasopharyngeal cancer being caused by the HPV epidemic. We are in the middle of a tonsil cancer epidemic, seeing many patients with tonsil cancer linked to HPV. It turns out that HPV may also be a new cause of this rare form of cancer that occurs in this hidden location,” says study author Carol Bradford, M.D., professor and chair of otolaryngology at the U-M Medical School.
In the study, which appears online in the journal Head & Neck, the researchers looked at tissue samples taken before treatment for either nasopharyngeal cancer or tonsil cancer. Of the 89 patients in the study, five had nasopharyngeal cancer, and four of those were positive for HPV.
At the same time, the four HPV-positive tumors were also all negative for Epstein-Barr virus, which has previously been one of the biggest infectious causes of nasopharyngeal cancer.
“Since I began studying head and neck cancer, I have wondered what the cause of Epstein-Barr virus-negative nasopharyngeal tumors might be. This research suggests that there is a changing etiology for nasopharyngeal cancer in the North American population that may mirror the HPV-positive epidemic of tonsil cancer,” says study author Thomas Carey, Ph.D., professor of otolaryngology and pharmacology and co-director of the head and neck oncology program at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Overall, about 60 percent of nasopharyngeal cancer patients are alive five years after treatment. In fact, death rates for this type of cancer have declined 4 percent per year. The researchers suspect one potential reason is that HPV-related tumors are more responsive to chemotherapy or radiation than tumors linked to the Epstein-Barr virus.
Because nasopharyngeal cancer is so rare, the authors propose a multi-center trial to recruit more patients to verify the role of HPV in nasopharyngeal cancer.
Additional authors: Jessica Maxwell, M.D., M.P.H.; Bhavna Kumar, M.S.; Felix Feng, M.D.; Jonathan McHugh, M.D.; Kitrina Cordell, M.D.; Avraham Eisbruch, M.D.; Francis Worden, M.D.; Gregory Wolf, M.D.; Mark Prince, M.D.; Jeffrey Moyer, M.D.; Theodoros Teknos, M.D.; and Douglas Chepeha, M.D., all from U-M; Jay Stoerker, Ph.D. and Heather Walline, M.A., from SensiGen LLC
Funding: National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, U-M Head and Neck Cancer SPORE grant, state of Michigan loan to SensiGen LLC
Disclosure: SensiGen is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sequenom. The University of Michigan's Office of Technology Transfer has exclusively licensed HPV detection technology to Sequenom.
Reference: Head & Neck, published online Sept. 15, 2009, DOI:10.1002/hed.21216Resources:
Nicole Fawcett | EurekAlert!
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy