The Study: It seems to work for HPV+ oropharyngeal cancer, after all. This prospective study collected cervical tumor swabs analyzed for HPV at baseline and at the end of external beam radiation for 79 women. Why tumor swabs versus the arguably easier obtained circulate tumor DNA? “Given the practicality of serial tumor swabs in cervical cancer, tumor samples are a more sensitive and specific medium for serial virome analysis.” Overall, HPV-viral loads decreased at the end of treatment with the exception of low-risk subtypes (n=13). Patients with HPV-subtype 16 (n=39) were the most likely to achieve viral clearance, while patients with low-risk HPV-subtypes (n=8) were the most likely to have viral loads increase even if concurrent HPV-16 levels decreased. Other high-risk subtypes also responded well, followed by subtype-18. Of note, this study was an exploratory look at viral clearance only and not at any potential correlative cancer outcomes.
TBL Cervical tumor HPV-subtypes have variable viral load responses to definitive chemoradiation, with HPV-16 and other high-risk subtypes responding best followed by HPV-18 and finally low-risk subtypes often increasing in viral load throughout treatment. | Sammouri, Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2023