Systematic Review of Second Primary Oropharyngeal Cancers in Patients With p16+ Oropharyngeal Cancer

Craig A. Bollig, David S. Lee, Angela L. Mazul, Katelyn Stepan, Sidharth V. Puram, Sean T. Massa, Joseph Zenga, Daniel L. Faden, Michelle M. Doering, Ryan S. Jackson, Patrik Pipkorn

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: To systematically review the literature to determine the prevalence and clinical outcomes of second primary oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC). Data Sources: Search strategies created with a medical librarian were implemented using multiple databases in October 2019. Review Methods: The population of interest included adults age >18 years with a p16+ or human papillomavirus-positive OPSCC. The outcome was a synchronous or metachronous second primary OPSCC. Inclusion and exclusion criteria were designed to capture all study designs. In total, 685 records were identified by the search strategy. Two reviewers independently performed the review, extracted data, and performed a quality assessment. Primary Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines were followed. A random-effects model was used for the meta-analysis. Results: A total of 2470 patients with 35 second primary OPSCCs from 15 studies were identified. The pooled prevalence of second primary OPSCC was 1.4% (range, 0%-14.3%). In the random-effects model, the prevalence was estimated at 1.3% (95% CI, 0.7%-2.3%; P =.51, I2 = 52%). Of the 30 patients with treatment information, 26 (86.7%) received surgical treatment, while 4 (13.3%) underwent nonsurgical therapy. Of the 29 patients with available survival information, 22 (75.9%) had no evidence of disease at last follow-up, 5 (17.2%) ultimately died of disease, and 2 (6.9%) were alive with disease. Conclusion: Overall, the rate of second primary OPSCC in patients with an index p16+ OPSCC is low, and most patients are successfully treated. Insufficient evidence currently exists to recommend routine elective tonsillectomy during surgical treatment of p16+ OPSCC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)733-740
Number of pages8
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States)
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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