By Alison Majikes/Special to

There may be a light at the end of the tunnel for people diagnosed with human papillomavirus-positive oropharyngeal cancer (HPV+ OPC).

Some new research has shown that certain patients with HPV+ OPC cancer may be able to survive more than two years after some intensive treatment without any further evidence of the disease, even after the cancer has spread to the organs, according to an article on

This new research, presented by Sophie Huang, MSc, an assistant professor in the department of radiation oncology at the University of Toronto, shows that that metastatic HPV+ OPC patients who receive consistent treatment can survive much longer than those who didn’t receive any at all.

“One of the reasons patients with metastatic disease do not receive aggressive treatment is due to the physician and patient’s perception that this is an incurable state,” she said.

“Our research, the largest study to date to explore survival predictors for metastatic HPV+ and HPV- oropharyngeal cancer patients, has shown that cure is a realistic goal in those patients with oligometastasis — metastases involving five or fewer lesions in one distant organ,” Huang said in a press release.

Huang and her colleagues hope that these new findings will encourage other researchers to find new strategies that will produce a better quality of life for these patients that are suffering from this type of cancer, adding that it would lessen the cost to the healthcare system in the long run.

To read the story about Huang’s new research:

dailyflosspicAlison Majikes is a Customer Service Representative at Benco Dental with a journalism degree from Penn State.