Risk of HPV-linked second cancers up after anal cancer

June 15, 2017

(HealthDay)—Survivors of squamous cell carcinoma of the anus (SCCA) have an elevated risk of human papillomavirus (HPV)-related second primary malignancies (SPMs), according to a study published online June 13 in Cancer.

Rebecca A. Nelson, Ph.D., and Lily L. Lai, M.D., from City of Hope in Duarte, Calif., used population-based data from 1992 through 2012 to identify patients with SCCA and examined their risk of HPV-related SPMs. To determine excess risk, they calculated standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) defined as observed to expected cases.

The researchers found that 416 of the 10,537 patients with SCCA developed HPV-related SPMs, which corresponded to an overall SIR of 21.5. Compared with women, men had higher SIR (35.8 versus 12.8). For a second SCCA, men had markedly higher SIRs than women (127.5 versus 47.0); for oral cavity and pharyngeal cancers, the SIRs were elevated in men and women (3.1 and 4.4, respectively). For sex-specific sites the SIRs were also elevated, with an SIR of 19.6 for male genital cancers and 8.3 for female genital cancers.

"Patients with index SCCA are at an increased risk of subsequent HPV-related SPMs," the authors write. "The elevated risk is most striking in patients with second primary SCCAs; however, the risk of second cancers also appears to be increased in other HPV-related sites."

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