home
RSS
Blood test may predict HPV-related throat cancer
June 18th, 2013
08:36 AM ET

Blood test may predict HPV-related throat cancer

Scientists may be able to predict throat cancers caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) more than 10 years before patients get diagnosed, according to research published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Using a blood test that is still in the research stage, experts were able to detect blood markers indicating early signs of the disease.

Actor Michael Douglas recently made headlines when The Guardian reported he said his throat cancer may have been caused in part by HPV transmitted through oral sex. Douglas later said he simply was stating that oral sex can lead to cancer.

HPV: What you need to know

HPV is the most common type of sexually transmitted virus in the United States and is passed on through sexual contact – genital or oral. There are more than 40 types of HPV, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and nearly all sexually active men and women will get at least one type of HPV during their lifetime.

Most infections are fought off by the immune system and don't lead to any health problems. But some people go on to develop cancer from the virus. Doctors aren't sure why.

Most people associate HPV with cervical cancer because virtually all of these cancers are caused by this virus. But HPV can also trigger oropharyngeal or throat cancer, especially in men. By 2020, it is estimated HPV will cause more throat cancers than cervical cancers, according to the National Cancer Institute.

The study

Researchers looked at the results of blood tests taken from 135 throat cancer patients who were part of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study.

About a third of the throat cancer patients were found to have HPV antibodies in their blood a full decade before doctors detected any outward signs of the disease. Our immune systems make antibodies to fight infections. Globally, about a third of throat cancers are said to be HPV-related, according to the study.

The researchers say they are extremely encouraged by the study findings.

"Until now, there were no accurate markers for early detection of this cancer," said study author Paul Brennan with the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France.

Though the test is likely years away from being available at the doctor's office, it has other scientists - not related to the study - intrigued.

"Perhaps these types of patients could be under closer surveillance, so this potentially allows for more regular screening, early detection, earlier diagnosis and earlier intervention," says Dr. Ellie Maghami, chief of the Division of Head and Neck Surgery at the City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, California.

Further studies need to be done, Maghami says, perhaps in the United States where the rate of HPV-related throat cancers are about twice as high as in Europe.

The takeaway

If caught early, about 90% of HPV-related throat cancers can be treated effectively or cured, according to Maghami. Because the blood test used in this new study is still in development, she suggests education may be one of the best weapon for prevention and early detection of this cancer. People at high risk are those who engage in sex at a young age, have multiple partners and are liberal in their sexual practices. Maghami encourages parents to talk to their children about these risks.

There are currently two vaccines available to help prevent HPV. The CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend both boys and girls get their shots between the ages of 11 and 12. Doctors say the vaccine is most effective if given before a child becomes sexually active.

Post by:
Filed under: Cancer • Conditions • HPV • Living Well

soundoff (471 Responses)
  1. Zisseloh

    generic cialis 20 mg purchasing cialis in canada when will generic cialis be available in the us

    June 12, 2021 at 09:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Johnnie Chango

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a online game where you can do anything you want. sl is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these Second Life websites and blogs

    http://adolit.blogspot.com/2005/10/storying-hisherstories.html

    June 12, 2021 at 15:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. MileSwa

    online cialis buy cialis with paypal payment dapoxetine cialis

    June 12, 2021 at 18:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Zisseloh

    sex with cialis how long does it take for cialis to work 5mg cialis women

    June 12, 2021 at 21:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. EncoxHtf

    cialis no pres cialis daily use side effects cialis free trial canada

    June 13, 2021 at 20:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. pharmaceptica.com

    tadalafil tablets ip https://www.pharmaceptica.com/

    June 19, 2021 at 18:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. www.pharmaceptica.com

    cialis tadalafil https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 21, 2021 at 02:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. pharmaceptica

    cialis tadalafil https://www.pharmaceptica.com/

    June 21, 2021 at 22:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. pharmaceptica

    tadalafil cvs https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 22, 2021 at 19:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. pharmacepticacom

    erectile vacuum pump for sale https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 25, 2021 at 09:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Devon Cowels

    Great website. Thank you for the information spanish language

    https://www.spanishtogo.app

    June 25, 2021 at 13:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. pharmaceptica.com

    natural chloroquine https://www.pharmaceptica.com/

    June 25, 2021 at 15:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. http://www.nidiinfanziaolbia.it/component/k2/itemlist/user/1980050

    902875 27437I dont feel Ive scan anything like this before. So great to uncover somebody with some original thoughts on this topic. thank for starting this up. This site is something that is required on the internet, someone with a bit originality. Good job for bringing something new to the internet! 20931

    June 26, 2021 at 08:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. pharmacepticacom

    hydroxyquine side effects https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 26, 2021 at 16:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. pharmaceptica.com

    sildenafil 20 mg tablet brand name https://www.pharmaceptica.com/

    June 27, 2021 at 00:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. www.pharmaceptica.com

    sildenafil coupon 100mg https://www.pharmaceptica.com/

    June 27, 2021 at 02:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. www.pharmaceptica.com

    chloroquine side effect https://www.pharmaceptica.com/

    June 28, 2021 at 21:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. www.pharmaceptica.com

    buy erectile dysfunction pump cvs https://www.pharmaceptica.com/

    June 29, 2021 at 03:49 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.