Think positive.

The debate continues over the prognostic significance of p16 status in non-oropharyngeal head and neck cancer sites. This VA database analysis of >1400 patients—making it one of the largest to date—falls firmly on the affirmative side, reporting that p16 status is just as prognostic in non-oropharynx sites as in the oropharynx. In fact, the hazard ratio for non-oropharyngeal cancer-specific death for p16(+) versus p16(-) tumors was a striking 0.37. The biggest problem with interpreting this data is that p16 testing outside the oropharynx is sporadic and often biased by some clinical finding that prompts testing in the first place. TBL: Prospective data is warranted to determine if p16 status is truly prognostic outside the oropharynx. | Bryant, J Natl Cancer Inst 2018


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