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Study Results Reassure Spouses/Partners of Patients with HPV-Related Oral Cancers


ASCO Press Conference
Dr. Gypsyamber D'Souza is interviewed by reporters at an ASCO press conference.

Dr. Gypsyamber D'Souza has been a steady presence at Johns Hopkins head and neck cancer clinics. You'd spot her carrying an iPad survey and containers that collect oral rinse samples. Today, the long-awaited results of her research were presented at a press conference at the American Society for Clinical Oncology meeting in Chicago. D'Souza's  multicenter, pilot study revealed that spouses and long-term partners of patients with mouth and throat cancers related to infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV)  appear to have no increased prevalence of oral HPV infections.  These long-term couples need not change their sexual practices, according to D'Souza and authors of the study, which was reported in the New York Times (scroll to the end of the article) and other media outlets. That's a relief to patients and their long-term partners. The scientists are continuing their studies on transmission of HPV, but the hope is that more widespread adoption of HPV vaccines can prevent these infections.

Information on HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer


3 thoughts on “Study Results Reassure Spouses/Partners of Patients with HPV-Related Oral Cancers”

  1. Hi Vanessa,

    I am wondering if the brochure you posted is copywritten material, or if that brochure could be printed and distributed freely.


  2. What number of years constitutes a "long-term partner"? Could you please include the word "spouse" in your reports, since husbands and wives are at risk too? The word partner makes me feel that I am not included in these results. My husband of 14 years has HPV+ and I currently have tested negative for virus.

    My understanding is deep french kissing also transmits HPV. Where else can I read results of your study?
    Kind Regards

    1. According to the investigators, long-term partners and spouses involved in the study had been sexually involved for at least two years. We do not know whether HPV can be transmitted by French kissing. I also updated the post with a brochure with additional information that may be helpful.

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