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Management of Recurrent HPV-Positive Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma: a Contemporary Review.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To review the impact of contemporary treatment strategies on salvage outcomes in patients with recurrent human papilloma virus-positive oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (HPV + OPSCC).

RECENT FINDINGS: Secondary to HPV, changes in disease biology have impacted primary treatments and subsequent approaches to patients with recurrence. With treatment strategies more inclusive of upfront surgery, the characteristics of patients with recurrence HPV + OPSCC have been further redefined. Less invasive endoscopic surgical approaches such as transoral robotic surgery (TORS), and the continued refinement of conformal radiotherapy techniques, have improved treatment options for patients with recurrent HPV + OPSCC. Systemic treatment options have continued to expand including potentially effective immune-based therapies. Effective surveillance with systemic and oral biomarkers offers hope of earlier detection of recurrence. Management of patients with recurrent OPSCC remains difficult. Modest improvements in salvage treatment have been observed within the HPV + OPSCC cohort largely reflecting disease biology and improved treatment techniques.

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