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Dr. Gold on Approaching Patients with HPV-Positive Head and Neck Cancer

Kathryn A. Gold, MD, medical oncologist, associate professor of medicine, UC San Diego Heath, discusses approaching patients with HPV-positive head and neck cancer.

Kathryn A. Gold, MD, medical oncologist, associate professor of medicine, UC San Diego Heath, discusses approaching patients with HPV-positive head and neck cancer.

HPV-positive patients tend to have a better prognosis, states Gold. Currently, HPV status is not used as a factor to select treatment options. As research continues, patients may receive less treatment to spare long-term toxicities.

According to Gold, patients who come in with locally advanced disease, can be treated with chemoradiation—which are the vast majority of patients. Chemoradiation of HPV-negative cancer does not have great overall survival; it is only about 40% at 5 years. For HPV-positive cancer—especially nonsmokers—85% of those patients are cured.

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