Subsequent malignant neoplasms in the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study: Occurrence of cancer types in which human papillomavirus is an established etiologic risk factor

Tara O. Henderson, Brynn W. Fowler, Haley A. Hamann, Paul C. Nathan, Jillian Whitton, Wendy M. Leisenring, Kevin C. Oeffinger, Joseph P. Neglia, Lucie M. Turcotte, Michael A. Arnold, Miriam R. Conces, Rebecca M. Howell, Leslie L. Robison, Gregory T. Armstrong, Kenneth A. Alexander

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Background: Human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated subsequent malignant neoplasms (SMNHPV) in childhood cancer survivors are poorly understood. Methods: The cumulative risk of SMNHPV was assessed among 24,363 Childhood Cancer Survivor Study participants. Standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) and absolute excess risk were calculated using age-matched, sex-matched, and calendar year rates from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program. Poisson regression models identified SMNHPV risk factors, evaluating relative SIRs (rSIR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs). Results: In total, 46 survivors developed an SMNHPV (median age, 31 years [range, 10-56 years]; median time from primary cancer, 21 years [range, 9-35 years]). SMNHPV sites included oropharynx (N = 44), anorectum (N = 6), uterine cervix (N = 2), and vulva (N = 2). The 33-year cumulative incidence was 0.3% (95% CI, 0.2%-0.4%), and the SIR was nearly 3-fold that of the general population (SIR, 2.86; 95% CI, 2.05-4.00). Female survivors were not at increased risk of cervical or vulvar cancers compared with the general population. All survivors had an elevated risk of oropharyngeal SMNHPV (males: SIR, 4.06; 95% CI, 2.37-6.97; females: SIR, 8.44; 95% CI 4.88-14.61) and anorectal SMNHPV (males: SIR, 13.56; 95% CI, 5.09-36.13; females: SIR, 9.15; 95% CI, 2.29-36.61). Males (vs females: rSIR, 1.99; 95% CI, 1.00-3.94); head, neck, and pelvic radiotherapy doses >3000 centigray (vs none: rSIR, 2.35; 95% CI, 1.11-4.97); and cisplatin-equivalent doses >400 mg/m2 (vs none: rSIR, 4.51; 95% CI, 1.78-11.43) were associated with increased SMNHPV SIRs in multivariable analysis. Conclusions: Childhood cancer survivors are at increased risk for SMN in sites susceptible to HPV-associated malignancies. Further research examining HPV in the etiology of SMN and the promotion of HPV vaccination and surveillance guidelines for SMNHPV in cancer survivors is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-382
Number of pages10
Issue number2
Early online dateOct 4 2021
StatePublished - Oct 4 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Cancer Institute (CA55727, G.T. Armstrong, Principal Investigator). Support to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital also provided by the Cancer Center Support (CORE) grant (CA21765, C. Roberts, Principal Investigator) and the American Lebanese‐Syrian Associated Charities (ALSAC).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Cancer Society

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  • Journal Article


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