Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"
My husband is a 54 year-old non-smoker, non-drinker with stage I moderately differentiated squamous cell cancer of the tonsil. He is about to begin radiation therapy. Should he request HPV testing in the tonsil biopsy, and would this change his treatment at all?
Pinaki R. Dutta, MD, PhD, Resident in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, responds:
Presence of HPV is increasingly being recognized as a risk factor for the development of oropharyngeal cancers. The tonsils are great lymphoid organs and “pick up” just about everything. Given that your husband is a non-smoker and non-drinker and is young, it is most likely that he has HPV. Testing for HPV would be of academic interest, but would not make a difference in management or treatment decisions.
Jan 14, 2011 - Parotid-sparing intensity-modulated radiotherapy is less likely than conventional radiotherapy to result in dry mouth in patients treated for head and neck cancer, according to research published online Jan. 13 in The Lancet Oncology.
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