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The Role of PET and PET/CT in the Diagnosis, Treatment Planning, and Post-Treatment Follow-up of HPV in Oropharyngeal and Anal Cancers

Linda Giering, PhD

*Medical Writer, Matawan, New Jersey.
Address correspondence to: Linda Giering, PhD. E-mail: lindagiering@gmail.com.

Disclosure statement: The author reports having no significant financial or advisory relationships with corporate organizations related to this activity.

ABSTRACT

The number of oropharyngeal and anal cancers linked to human papillomavirus (HPV) has risen dramatically over the past few decades. HPV positive (HPV+) cancers are epidemiologically distinct from HPV negative cancers. HPV+ oropharyngeal cancers are characterized by younger age of onset, less exposure to alcohol, and higher socioeconomic status and education. Anal cancer is an uncommon malignancy. However, an increased incidence has been associated with female gender, infection with HPV, lifetime number of sexual partners, genital warts, cigarette smoking, receptive anal intercourse, and infection with human immunodeficiency virus. Multimodality imaging, including PET, MRI, and PET/CT, plays an important role in the diagnosis, primary staging, treatment planning and post-treatment evaluation and follow-up in these HPV+ cancers. Understanding the benefits of various imaging modalities in the management of these cancers may provide important prognostic information to enhance patient outcomes.

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