For Dana Holzinger, PhD, a researcher with the Infection and Cancer Program at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg and lead author of the German study, the findings highlight the need to look at other potentially more useful biomarkers, such as viral load and expression patterns, to develop a standard way of identifying HPV-driven head and neck cancers. “Once standardized assays for these markers are established and can be applied in routine clinical laboratories, they will allow precise identification of oropharyngeal cancer patients with or without HPV-driven cancers and thus will influence prognosis and potentially treatment decisions,” she said.
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