Prevalence of HPV infection in racial-ethnic subgroups of head and neck cancer patients

Camille Ragin, Karthik Devarajan, Jeffrey Chang-Jen Liu, Giera Jones, Olubunmi Shoyele, Bukola Sowunmi, Rachel Kennett, Denise Gibbs, Elizabeth Blackman, Michael Esan, Margaret Brandwein-Gensler, Francesco Bussu, Rebecca Chernock, Chih Yen Chien, Marc A. Cohen, Samir El-Mofty, Mikio Suzuki, Gypsyamber D'Souza, Pauline Funchain, Charis EngSusanne M. Gollin, Angela Hong, Yuh S. Jung, Maximilian Krüger, James Lewis, Patrizia Morbini, Santo Landolfo, Massimo Rittà, Jos Straetmans, Krisztina Szarka, Ruth Tachezy, Francis P. Worden, Deborah B. Nelson, Samuel Gathere, Emanuela Taioli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The landscape of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in racial/ethnic subgroups of head and neck cancer (HNC) patients has not been evaluated carefully. In this study, a meta-analysis examined the prevalence of HPV in HNC patients of African ancestry. Additionally, a pooled analysis of subject-level data was also performed to investigate HPV prevalence and patterns of p16 (CDNK2A) expression amongst different racial groups. Eighteen publications (N = 798 Black HNC patients) were examined in the meta-analysis, and the pooled analysis included 29 datasets comprised of 3129 HNC patients of diverse racial/ethnic background. The meta-analysis revealed that the prevalence of HPV16 was higher among Blacks with oropharyngeal cancer than Blacks with non-oropharyngeal cancer. However, there was great heterogeneity observed among studies (Q test P < 0.0001). In the pooled analysis, after adjusting for each study, year of diagnosis, age, gender and smoking status, the prevalence of HPV16,18 in oropharyngeal cancer patients was highest in Whites (61.1%), followed by 58.0% in Blacks and 25.2% in Asians (P < 0.0001). There was no statistically significant difference in HPV16,18 prevalence in nonoropharyngeal cancer by race (P = 0.682). With regard to the pattern of HPV16,18 status and p16 expression, White patients had the highest proportion of HPV16,18+/p16+ oropharyngeal cancer (52.3%), while Asians and Blacks had significantly lower proportions (23.0 and 22.6%, respectively) [P < 0.0001]. Our findings suggest that the pattern of HPV16,18 status and p16 expression in oropharyngeal cancer appears to differ by race and this may contribute to survival disparities.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberbgw203
Pages (from-to)218-229
Number of pages12
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017


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