Predictors of Mortality in HPV-Associated Oropharynx Carcinoma Treated With Surgery Alone

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date











human papilloma virus; National Cancer Database; neck; neck dissection; oropharyngeal carcinoma; oropharynx; oropharynx cancer; overall survival; risk factors for death; surgery alone


© 2019 The American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc. Objective: Survival outcomes for human papillomavirus-associated oropharynx squamous cell carcinoma (HPV + OPSCC) treated with surgery alone are unclear. To increase understanding, we assessed overall survival (OS) outcomes using the national cancer database (NCDB). Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of OS of 736 NCDB HPV + OPSCC patients who underwent surgery alone from 2010 to 2014 using univariate and multivariate analyses and the Kaplan-Meir method. Results: Multivariable analysis found the following independent risk factors for death: American Joint Commission on Cancer (AJCC) 8th edition pathologic stage(p)N2 versus pN0 disease (hazard ratio [HR], 5.5; P = 0.000006), macroscopic extranodal extension (ENE) versus non-ENE (HR, 4.9; P < 0.02), a positive lymph nodes (LN) percentage of ≥10% (HR, 4.2; P = 0.0002), and five or more positive LNs (HR, 4.9; P = 0.00004). Three-year OS was significantly worse for AJCC 8th edition pN2 versus pN0 but not for 7th edition pN2 versus pN0 disease. Five-year OS was significantly worse for positive versus negative surgical margins, AJCC 8th edition stage II versus I, and either microscopic or macroscopic ENE versus non-ENE positive LNs. For 523 (71%) AJCC 8th edition stage I patients and for 283 (38%) patients who were pT1–T2, with negative margins, pN0–N1, with ≤4 pathologic LNs, without ENE, and with >20 LNs removed during neck dissection, the 3-year OS rates were 93% and 95%, respectively, and the 5-year OS rates were 91% and 95%, respectively. Conclusion: In the context of the lack of detail and possible inaccuracies found in the NCDB, surgery alone for AJCC 8th edition stage I HPV + OPSCC, particularly pT1–T2, pN0–N1 with ≤4 pathologic LNs, without ENE, and with negative surgical margins has a high OS. Level of Evidence: 4 Laryngoscope, 130:E423–E435, 2020.

This document is currently not available here.