While cancers of the oral cavity and oropharynx were overwhelming found in smokers and drinkers, a dramatic shift is occurring with a dramatic rise in the incidence of HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancers while oral cavity cancers and HPV-negative oropharyngeal cancers appear to be declining in incidence, reflecting the reduction in cigarette smoking. These trends also have implications for how Otolaryngologists prevent, diagnose, workup, treat, and follow these patients. The focus of information in this issue is on oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancer and the implications of the HPV epidemic on this disease. Amongst the medical community during this period of trying to better grasp the association of HPV with oropharyngeal cancers, there are misconceptions and a lack of knowledge of these important shifts which are addressed by Guest Editors Jeffrey Myers and Erich Sturgis of the University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center. Topics include: Epidemiology- Control of a tobacco epidemic? But emergence of a HPV epidemic?; Oral cavity and Oropharyngeal Cancer Genomics; Why Otolaryngologists need to be aware of Fanconi anemia; Impact on HPV on Orpharyngeal Cancer Biology and Response to Therapy-Implications for Treatment; Oral premalignancy- The roles of early detection and chemoprevention; Evaluation and staging- Limitations despite technological breakthroughs; 7) Surgical treatment innovations; Radiotherapy- The “Particle-rs of energy, dose, and delivery method; Systemic Treatment- Its role before, during, and after definitive treatment; How to maximize functional assessment/rehabilitation; Standardizing treatment for Cancers – An approach to cancer care or crisis?; Survivorship in Oral Cancer- Competing mortalities, morbidities, and second malignancies.
By Jeffrey N. Myers, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Huber L. and Olive Stringer Department of Head and Neck Surgery, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX and Erich M. Sturgis, MD, University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center