Oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma is thought to rarely metastasise to bone. This study hypothesised that in p16-positive disease there is a significant incidence of bony metastasis.
This was an ambispective cohort review. All patients with oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma diagnosed and treated at one centre were included.
A total of 180 consecutive patients were identified over 5 years. Fifteen patients were excluded because of lack of p16 status, none of whom had bony metastasis. The final analysis included 165 patients: 48 (29.09 per cent) in the p16-negative group and 117 (70.91 per cent) in the p16-positive group. Ten patients (8.55 per cent) in the p16-positive group developed bony metastasis, compared with zero in the p16-negative group; this difference was statistically significant (p = 0.036).
Expression of p16 was associated with an increased incidence in bony metastasis in this cohort. This is the first study to explore this specific question.
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