Oropharynx cancer: lymphocyte number linked to HPV status

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Takeaway

  • Higher numbers of CD56+ cells are found in HPV-positive oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) compared with HPV-negative disease and are associated with better outcomes.

Key results

  • CD56+ cell numbers were significantly higher in HPV-positive patients compared with HPV-negative patients in tumors and surrounding areas (p=.004 and p=.002, respectively).
  • HPV-positive patients had a significantly higher fraction of potentially cytotoxic natural killer cells (CD16+/CD56+) (p=.011).
  • CD56+ cell number was associated wi...