Article Abstract

Incidence and prognostic impact of high-risk HPV tumor infection in cervical esophageal carcinoma

Authors: Ethan B. Ludmir, Manisha Palta, Xuefeng Zhang, Yuan Wu, Christopher G. Willett, Brian G. Czito

Abstract

Background: Cervical esophageal carcinoma (CEC) is an uncommon malignancy. Limited data supports the use of definitive chemoradiotherapy (CRT) as primary treatment. Furthermore, the role of human papillomavirus (HPV) tumor infection in CEC remains unknown. This study retrospectively analyzes both outcomes of CEC patients treated with CRT and the incidence and potential role of HPV tumor infection in CEC lesions.
Methods: A total of 37 CEC patients were treated with definitive CRT at our institution between 1987 and 2013. Of these, 19 had tumor samples available for high-risk HPV (types 16 and 18) pathological analysis.
Results: For all patients (n=37), 5-year overall survival (OS), disease-free survival (DFS), and loco-regional control (LRC) rates were 34.1%, 40.2%, and 65.6%, respectively. On pathological analysis, 1/19 (5.3%) patients had an HPV-positive lesion.
Conclusions: Definitive CRT provides disease-related outcomes comparable to surgery. Moreover, HPV tumor infection in CEC is uncommon and its prognostic role is unclear. Our data contribute to the construction of an anatomical map of HPV tumor infection in squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) of the upper aerodigestive tract, and suggest a steep drop in viral infection rates at sites distal to the oropharynx, including the cervical esophagus.