De-intensification of adjuvant therapy in human papillomavirus-associated oropharyngeal cancer.
ABSTRACT: Current adjuvant treatment guidelines for oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma treated with primary surgery are based on studies that predate the human papillomavirus (HPV) era. HPV-associated oropharynx carcinoma (HPV-OPC) has a much more favorable prognosis compared to HPV-unassociated cancer and is increasingly considered to be a distinct disease entity due to its unique etiology, presentation, and behavior. Currently, there is significant interest in adjuvant treatment de-intensification of HPV-OPC patients in order to reduce treatment-related toxicity while maintaining excellent clinical outcomes. Here, we review the evidence and rationale underlying the ongoing prospective trials of adjuvant treatment de-intensification for HPV-OPC patients.
Project description:Human papillomavirus positive (HPV+) oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPC) is a distinct clinical entity within the head and neck cancers, with a unique epidemiology and, in general, a favorable prognosis. Because of this favorable prognosis, researchers have considered de-intensifying the current standard treatment of HPV+ OPC in order to reduce acute and late treatment related toxicity without compromising outcome. Current ongoing trials can be divided in three main categories: de-intensification of the chemotherapy by replacing concomitant platinum-based chemotherapy with the EGFR-inhibitor cetuximab, or de-intensification of the radiation dose of either the primary radiotherapy of selected, good-responding patients after induction chemotherapy or of the adjuvant radiotherapy based on pathology features after primary surgery. Despite the good prognosis of the majority of HPV+ OPC patients, a proportion of them still have poor prognosis. This unmet need has led clinical research on new treatment strategies focused on influencing the unique micro-environment of HPV+ OPC with for example immunotherapy. This article summarizes the current understanding regarding the optimal treatment of non-metastatic HPV+ OPC. Ongoing and published clinical trials regarding de-intensification strategies, immunotherapy and proton therapy are described focusing on the rationale and underlying evidence of these emerging treatment strategies. Nevertheless, until the results of the ongoing trials are known, the treatment of HPV+ OPC in clinical practice should remain identical to the treatment of HPV negative OPC.
Project description:Increasingly, squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx (OPSCC) is attributable to transformation resulting from high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. Such cancers are significantly more responsive to treatment than traditional tobacco- and alcohol-associated squamous cell cancers of the head and neck. Conventional management with definitive chemoradiation, surgery and adjuvant radiation, or radiation given with altered fractionation schemes, while effective, incurs long-term morbidity that escalates with treatment intensity and significantly impairs quality of life. Recent trials have suggested that less intensive treatment regimens may achieve similar efficacy with decreased toxicity. In this article, we review the primary strategies used for de-escalation of treatment, which include the reduction of radiation dose, substitution and/or elimination of concurrent radiosensitising chemotherapy, and the use of minimally invasive surgery. We discuss the rationale behind these approaches and the preliminary data demonstrating the success of de-escalation, as well as potential considerations raised by treatment de-intensification in HPV-associated OPSCC.
Project description:Background: With the growing interest in treatment de-intensification trials for human papillomavirus positive (HPV+) oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPC), prognostic models have become essential for patient selection. The aim of this paper is to validate and compare the prognostic ability of the TNM 8th edition and previous published risk group classifications of Ang et al. and Rietbergen et al. and to derive a patient selection classification for de-intensification trials. Materials: Patients with HPV+ OPC treated with curative (chemo)radiotherapy between 2004 and 2017 were classified according to the TNM 8th edition, the model of Ang et al. and of Rietbergen et al. HPV status was determined by p16 immunohistochemistry staining. Overall survival was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method and groups were compared using the log-rank test. Harrell's C-index was used as measure of discriminative performance. Results: A total of 333 OPC were identified of whom 100 were HPV+. The median follow-up was 63.7 months. The 5-year overall survival (5Y-OS) of stage I, II and III were 91.6, 55.2, and 38.0%. There was a significant difference between stage I vs. II and III. The Harrell's C-index for TNM 8th edition stage was 0.67. Including only HPV+ OPC, the Harrell's C-index for the model of Ang and Rietbergen were both 0.62. We combined the main prognostic factors defining the low risk groups in the three models, stage I, low comorbidity and ? 10 pack years, into one new low risk group to identify patients who may benefit from de-intensification trials. Intermediate risk was defined as stage I with high comorbidity or >10 pack years, high risk as stage II-III. The 5Y-OS were 100, 85.7, and 51.3%. The Harrell's C-index for the new classification model was 0.67. Conclusion: Although TNM 8th edition provides better OS stratification than the 7th edition, it is not performant enough for patient selection, neither are the models from Ang et al. and Rietbergen et al. Therefore, we propose a patient selection classification for de-intensification trials based on the new TNM classification 8th edition, comorbidity and smoking pack years. In addition, this study emphasizes the importance of patient selection and personalized treatment for HPV+OPC.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Patients with human papillomavirus-positive (HPV+) oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPC) have substantially better treatment response and overall survival (OS) than patients with HPV-negative disease. Treatment options for HPV+ OPC can involve either a primary radiotherapy (RT) approach (± concomitant chemotherapy) or a primary surgical approach (± adjuvant radiation) with transoral surgery (TOS). These two treatment paradigms have different spectrums of toxicity. The goals of this study are to assess the OS of two de-escalation approaches (primary radiotherapy and primary TOS) compared to historical control, and to compare survival, toxicity and quality of life (QOL) profiles between the two approaches. METHODS:This is a multicenter phase II study randomizing one hundred and forty patients with T1-2?N0-2 HPV+ OPC in a 1:1 ratio between de-escalated primary radiotherapy (60?Gy)?±?concomitant chemotherapy and TOS?±?de-escalated adjuvant radiotherapy (50-60?Gy based on risk factors). Patients will be stratified based on smoking status (<?10 vs. ? 10 pack-years). The primary endpoint is OS of each arm compared to historical control; we hypothesize that a 2-year OS of 85% or greater will be achieved. Secondary endpoints include progression free survival, QOL and toxicity. DISCUSSION:This study will provide an assessment of two de-escalation approaches to the treatment of HPV+ OPC on oncologic outcomes, QOL and toxicity. Results will inform the design of future definitive phase III trials. TRIAL REGISTRATION:Clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT03210103. Date of registration: July 6, 2017, Current version: 1.3 on March 15, 2019.
Project description:PATHOS is a phase II/III randomized controlled trial (RCT) of risk-stratified, reduced intensity adjuvant treatment in patients undergoing transoral surgery (TOS) for human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC). The study opened in the UK in October 2015 and, after successful recruitment into the phase II, transitioned into phase III in the autumn of 2018. PATHOS aims to establish whether the de-intensification of adjuvant treatment in patients with favorable prognosis HPV-positive OPSCC will confer improved swallowing outcomes, whilst maintaining high rates of cure. In this article, we will outline the rationale for the study and how it aims to answer fundamentally important questions about the safety, effectiveness and functional outcomes of minimally invasive TOS techniques followed by adjuvant radiotherapy (RT) or chemo-radiotherapy (CRT) in this patient population.
Project description:Importance:Human papillomavirus-associated (HPV+) oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) is a distinct form of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) with its own American Joint Committee on Cancer staging system. However, pathologic risk stratification for HPV+ OPSCC largely remains based on the experience with HPV-unassociated HNSCC. Objective:To compare the survival discrimination of traditional pathologic risk stratification for both HPV+ OPSCC and HPV-unassociated HNSCC and derive a novel pathologic risk stratification system for HPV+ OPSCC with improved survival discrimination. Design, Setting, and Participants:In this retrospective cohort study, we used the National Cancer Database to identify 15?324 patients diagnosed with nonmetastatic HNSCC between January 1, 2010, and December 31, 2013, who were treated with upfront surgery and neck dissection. We compared traditional pathologic risk stratification for HPV+ OPSCC and HPV-unassociated HNSCC and then derived a novel pathologic risk stratification system. Analyses were performed from July 1, 2018, to January 31, 2019. Exposures:Definitive primary surgical resection and neck dissection. Main Outcomes and Measures:Survival discrimination of pathologic risk stratification systems measured with concordance indices. Results:This retrospective cohort study included 15?324 patients (10?779 men and 4545 women; mean [SD] age, 59.9 [11.8] years) with surgically treated nonmetastatic HNSCC. Separation of survival curves for HPV-unassociated HNSCC using traditional pathologic risk stratification (5-year overall survival for the low-, intermediate-, and high-risk groups) were 76.2%, 54.5%, and 40.9%, respectively. Separation curves for HPV+ OPSCC were 93.2%, 88.9%, and 83.7%, respectively. Human papillomavirus-unassociated HNSCC had a concordance index of 0.68, whereas HPV+ OPSCC had a concordance index of 0.58. A novel risk stratification system for HPV+ OPSCC that more closely fits actual survival rates for HPV+ OPSCC was derived. The system incorporated the composite number of pathologic adverse features. This composite risk stratification system was associated with an improved concordance index of 0.67 for HPV+ OPSCC. Adjuvant treatment with radiation was not associated with improved survival for patients categorized as low risk according to the new risk stratification system, but this treatment was associated with improved survival for patients in the intermediate- and high-risk groups. Conclusions and Relevance:Traditional pathologic risk stratification shows poor survival discrimination for HPV+ OPSCC and classifies many patients with an excellent prognosis as high risk. We derived a novel composite pathologic risk stratification system for HPV+ OPSCC that may be associated with improved survival discrimination.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Current standard radiotherapy for oropharynx cancer (OPC) is associated with high rates of severe toxicities, shown to adversely impact patients' quality of life. Given excellent outcomes of human papilloma virus (HPV)-associated OPC and long-term survival of these typically young patients, treatment de-intensification aimed at improving survivorship while maintaining excellent disease control is now a central concern. The recent implementation of magnetic resonance image - guided radiotherapy (MRgRT) systems allows for individual tumor response assessment during treatment and offers possibility of personalized dose-reduction. In this 2-stage Bayesian phase II study, we propose to examine weekly radiotherapy dose-adaptation based on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) evaluated tumor response. Individual patient's plan will be designed to optimize dose reduction to organs at risk and minimize locoregional failure probability based on serial MRI during RT. Our primary aim is to assess the non-inferiority of MRgRT dose adaptation for patients with low risk HPV-associated OPC compared to historical control, as measured by Bayesian posterior probability of locoregional control (LRC).<h4>Methods</h4>Patients with T1-2?N0-2b (as per AJCC 7th Edition) HPV-positive OPC, with lymph node <3?cm and <10 pack-year smoking history planned for curative radiotherapy alone to a dose of 70?Gy in 33 fractions will be eligible. All patients will undergo pre-treatment MRI and at least weekly intra-treatment MRI. Patients undergoing MRgRT will have weekly adaptation of high dose planning target volume based on gross tumor volume response. The stage 1 of this study will enroll 15 patients to MRgRT dose adaptation. If LRC at 6?months with MRgRT dose adaptation is found sufficiently safe as per the Bayesian model, stage 2 of the protocol will expand enrollment to an additional 60 patients, randomized to either MRgRT or standard IMRT.<h4>Discussion</h4>Multiple methods for safe treatment de-escalation in patients with HPV-positive OPC are currently being studied. By leveraging the ability of advanced MRI techniques to visualize tumor and soft tissues through the course of treatment, this protocol proposes a workflow for safe personalized radiation dose-reduction in good responders with radiosensitive tumors, while ensuring tumoricidal dose to more radioresistant tumors. MRgRT dose adaptation could translate in reduced long term radiation toxicities and improved survivorship while maintaining excellent LRC outcomes in favorable OPC.<h4>Trial registration</h4>ClinicalTrials.gov ID: NCT03224000; Registration date: 07/21/2017.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive oropharyngeal cancer (HPV-OPC) is distinct from HPV-unassociated head and neck cancer. However, whether risk factors for HPV-positive oropharyngeal and nonoropharyngeal squamous cell cancer are the same is unclear.<h4>Methods</h4>Incident cases of HPV-positive head and neck cell cancer and matched non-cancer controls were enrolled in a multi-institutional, prospective study examining risk factors, biomarkers, and survival.<h4>Results</h4>HPV-nonOPC (n = 20) were more likely to be ever smokers than controls (n = 80, OR 3.49, 95%CI 1.11-10.9) and HPV-OPC (n = 185, OR 3.28, 95%CI 1.10-10.2). Compared with HPV-OPC, HPV-nonOPC were less likely to have had over 3 oral sexual partners (OR 0.29, 95%CI 0.06-0.9), more likely to have multimorbidity (OR 3.30, 95%CI 1.04-10.5), and less likely to have antibodies to HPV16 E6 (90% vs 28%, OR 0.05, 95%CI 0.02-0.2). HPV-nonOPC had worse 4-year OS (77% vs 96%, P =?.001) and RFS (69% vs 94%, P <?.001) than HPV-OPC.<h4>Conclusions</h4>HPV-positive nonoropharyngeal are distinct from HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancers.
Project description:Compare functional outcomes of radiotherapy (RT) concurrent with cetuximab (cet-RT) or with chemotherapy (chemo-RT) for comparable, good prognosis patients with human papillomavirus related (HPV+) oropharyngeal cancer (OPC).Outcomes of patients with stage III/IV HPV+ OPC patients with minimal smoking history and non-T4/N3/N2C, treated on prospective protocol of RT concurrent with cetuximab (cet-RT), were compared to similar patients on prospective chemo-RT protocols. In both groups, videofluoroscopy (VF), observer rated dysphagia (ORD), and validated QOL questionnaires: xerostomia questionnaire (XQ), head and neck QOL, and University of Washington QOL, were performed periodically and compared to pretreatment. Mixed effects models with adjustment for baseline assessed differences between groups.26 cet-RT patients were compared to 27 chemo-RT patients with similar baseline characteristics. In the chemo-RT group, no recurrences occurred. In the cet-RT group, 1 patient had persistent microscopic disease on salvage neck dissection and 1 distant failure. Both groups had mild VF-based swallowing dysfunction pre-treatment, worsened at 3 months (P<0.02) and persisted at 12 months, not differing between groups (P>0.11). For both groups ORD was very low pretreatment, worsened at 3 months and improved at 12 months, without differences between treatment groups (P=0.26). QOL Summary and domain scores for eating were good pretreatment, worse at 3 mo, and then improved to near baseline at 12 months, without differences between the groups in any QOL domains (P>0.10).Both groups had excellent clinical outcomes without significant differences in objective or subjective functions. These data question using cetuximab instead of chemotherapy for treatment de-intensification for HPV+ OPC.
Project description:Given the different nature and better outcomes of oropharyngeal carcinoma (OPC) associated with human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, a novel clinical stage classification for HPV-related OPC has been accepted for the 8th edition AJCC TNM (ICON-S model). However, it is still unclear the HPV-relatedness definition with best diagnostic accuracy and prognostic value.The aim of this study was to compare different staging system models proposed for HPV-related OPC patients: 7th edition AJCC TNM, RPA stage with non-anatomic factors (Princess Margaret), RPA with N categories for nasopharyngeal cancer (MD-Anderson) and AHR-new (ICON-S), according to different HPV-relatedness definitions: HPV-DNA detection plus an additional positive marker (p16INK4a or HPV-mRNA), p16INK4a positivity alone or the combination of HPV-DNA/p16INK4a positivity as diagnostic tests.A total of 788 consecutive OPC cases diagnosed from 1991 to 2013 were considered eligible for the analysis. Of these samples, 66 (8.4%) were positive for HPV-DNA and (p16INK4a or HPV-mRNA), 83 (10.5%) were p16INK4a positive and 58 (7.4%) were double positive for HPV-DNA/p16INK4a. ICON-S model was the staging system, which performed better in our series when using at least two biomarkers to define HPV-causality. When the same analysis was performed considering only p16INK4a-positivity, RPA stage with non-anatomic factors (Princess Margaret) has the best classification based on AIC criteria.HPV-relatedness definition for classifying HPV-related OPC patient do impact on TNM classification and patients' survival. Further studies assessing HPV-relatedness definitions are warranted to better classify HPV-related OPC patients in the era of de-escalation clinical trials.