High-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) infection was significantly related to lymph node size in patients with single node metastasis of oral and oropharyngeal cancer.
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between high-risk HPV infection and lymph node size in patients with single node metastasis of oral and oropharyngeal carcinoma.
This study included 48 patients with oral and oropharyngeal carcinoma. Pathologic lymph node stages comprised 36 N1 and 12 N2a.
High-risk HPV in situ hybridization was positive in 29% of patients (14/48). Of those patients with high-risk HPV, there was a significant difference (p = 0.008) between oral (9.5%) and oropharyngeal (44.4%) cancers. Average lymph node diameter was 20.7 ± 12.6 mm (range 5-54 mm). We found a positive correlation between high-risk HPV status and lymph node size (p = 0.018). Mean lymph node diameter in high-risk HPV-positive cases was 27.3 ± 13.1 mm and 18.0 ± 11.5 mm in high-risk HPV-negative cases. Extracapsular spread (p = 0.030) and cystic nodal metastases (p = 0.019) were also significantly related to lymph node size. High-risk HPV negative status (p = 0.043), advanced tumor stage (p = 0.009), and extracapsular spread (p = 0.038) all had significant adverse effects on 5-year disease-specific survival.