Update from the 4th Edition of the World Health Organization Classification of Head and Neck Tumours: Oropharynx

William H. Westra, James S. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The changes for oropharyngeal lesions in the 2017 edition of the WHO/IARC Classification of Head and Neck Tumours reference book are dramatic and significant, largely due to the growing impact of high risk human papillomavirus (HPV). The upcoming edition divides tumours of the oral cavity and oropharynx into separate chapters, classifies squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) of the oropharynx on the basis of HPV status, abandons the practice of histologic grading for oropharyngeal SCCs that are HPV positive, recognizes small cell carcinoma of the oropharynx, and combines polymorphous low grade adenocarcinoma and cribriform adenocarcinoma of tongue and minor salivary glands under the single term “polymorphous adenocarcinoma.” This review not only calls attention to these changes, but describes the rationale driving these changes and highlights their implications for routine clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-47
Number of pages7
JournalHead and Neck Pathology
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

Keywords

  • Human papillomavirus
  • Oropharynx
  • Polymorphous adenocarcinoma
  • Small cell carcinoma
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • World Health Organization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Oncology

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