Los Angeles Times: HPV-linked head and throat cancers easier to treat unless patient is a smoker, University of Michigan study finds
A growing incidence of head and throat cancers have been traced back to the human papillomavirus, or HPV, rather than smoking.
With that in mind, University of Michigan researchers recently decided to examine the difference in outcomes between smokers with HPV-linked head and throat cancer and those who had never smoked.
Turns out, the HPV-linked tumors were easier to treat than non-HPV associated cancers. That is, unless the patient was a smoker. Those with HPV-linked cancers who smoked were six times as likely to recur than those who had never smoked.
According to a Los Angeles Time health blog, treatments for head and neck cancers include harsh treatments such as radiation, chemotherapy and surgery.
The researchers from U-M's Comprehensive Cancer Center said they planned to begin a clinical trial to milder treatments later this year.