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Video: Groundbreaking HPV Test Helps Diagnose Throat Cancer In Man
Groundbreaking HPV test helps diagnose throat cancer in man
Scientists have developed a new test to detect HPV DNA in saliva. Screening with it helped diagnose laryngeal cancer at an early stage.
Photo: CC0 Public Domain
An experimental test system helped scientists suspect and diagnose a patient with human papillomavirus (HPV) pharyngeal cancer before symptoms appeared. The case report was published by the journal Frontiers in Oncology.
Scientists have reported that in several developed countries, the prevalence of pharyngeal cancer exceeds that of cervical cancer. The main cause of this type of cancer is HPV oncogenic types, primarily of the 16th type. For its prevention and early diagnosis, they have developed a new test system that identifies HPV in saliva. Scientists tested its effectiveness in a study that covered 600 people.
The scientists separately described the case of a 63-year-old man who had no symptoms of pharyngeal cancer. As part of the study, over the course of 36 months, he passed the HPV type 16 test several times. The HPV DNA titer increased with each analysis and it was decided to send the patient to the surgeon for examination. The specialist found a small, asymptomatic swelling in his throat.
“The patient was diagnosed with a 2 mm squamous cell carcinoma in the left tonsil and underwent tonsillectomy. This gave him a chance to heal. After treatment, HPV-16 DNA was no longer detected in his saliva,”said Chamindie Punyadeera, a professor at the University of Queensland, co-author of the study and one of the developers of the new test.
Previous studies have shown that high titers of HPV-16 are associated with the risk of detecting metastatic pharyngeal cancer. But the described case is the first example of detecting this cancer at an early stage, thanks to HPV screening.
The study authors suggest that increasing the HPV titer with periodic testing may help diagnose pharyngeal cancer in the early stages. However, this hypothesis needs to be tested in large studies.