The impact of HPV vaccination on the prevention of oropharyngeal cancer: A scoping review

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  • Katherine H. Kaczmarczyk
  • Huda Yusuf


Introduction: HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancer (OPC) has one of the most rapidly rising incidences of any cancer in high-income
countries. HPV vaccination is being tested to prevent HPV-associated OPC. Objective: To determine the effect of Human Papilloma Virus
(HPV) vaccination on the prevention of OPC in adults worldwide. Basic research design: Scoping review conducted using PRISMA-ScR
Checklist. Method: An electronic literature search identified relevant records. Titles and abstracts were screened to assess eligibility by
two researchers, and data from relevant full-text articles were extracted and synthesised. Results: Three-hundred-and-forty-three studies
were identified, with eleven articles meeting the inclusion criteria. The most common study design was cross-sectional (n = 7), the most
common location was the US (n = 6) and data collection periods spanned 2004 to 2020. One article found unvaccinated participants had
a 19 times increased risk of developing OPC compared with those who had been vaccinated against HPV. The remaining papers showed
that prevalence of HPV-vaccine-type oral infection was significantly lower in vaccinated participants than unvaccinated participants, with a
reduction of oral HPV detection ranging from 72% to 93%. This reduction varied by sex. Conclusions: There is evidence to suggest that
HPV vaccination reduces oral HPV infection and decreases the incidence of HPV-associated OPC. There is substantial need for further
research which directly examines the relationship between HPV vaccination status and subsequent OPC development.
Keywords: Prevention, review, vaccination, alphapapillomavirus, oropharyngeal neoplasms

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