RTI International researcher reports on links between HPV, oral cancer at congressional briefing

WASHINGTON, D.C. – At a congressional briefing on oral research advances, Linda Morris Brown, DrPH, a senior research epidemiologist at RTI International, warned of the rise in oral cancers caused by HPV.

During the Nov. 21 briefing, she reported on the two known pathways related to oropharyngeal cancer, and their impact on oral cancer rates and prevention strategies.

Brown said that historically, most oral cancers were related to the use of tobacco and alcohol, and rates were substantially higher in blacks and males.  More recently, she stated, oral cancer has also been tied to human papillomavirus (HPV), which is one of the most common sexually-transmitted diseases in the United States and linked most notably to cervical cancer.

“If these trends continue, as a result of HPV’s ties to oral cancer, the overall rate of occurrence among white men will soon surpass that for black men,” Brown said. “Dentists need to be aware of the rise of HPV-related cancers, and ensure that new at-risk groups, such as white men less than 45 years of age, receive routine oral cancer screening.”

The briefing, facilitated by the Friends of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and the Congressional Oral Health Caucus, featured experts who presented research on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of early childhood dental decay, and HPV-related oral cancer.

Representatives Mike Simpson (R-ID) and Elijah Cummings (D-MD), co-chairs of the Congressional Oral Health Caucus, provided remarks.

Brown is a project director and principal researcher at RTI.  She provides oversight and direction of epidemiologic studies, and she analyses epidemiologic data for large-scale, multidisciplinary studies in the United States and internationally that involve human health issues.

Brown has authored more than 145 publications in scientific and medical journals, including invited book chapters on the epidemiology of cancers of the esophagus, testis, and oral cavity. She is a fellow of the American College of Epidemiology, and is considered an expert in both chronic and infectious disease epidemiology.

Friends of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research is a broad-based coalition of individuals, institutions and corporations who understand the critical importance of dental, oral and craniofacial research to the health and well-being of society.

 

Highlights

  • At a congressional briefing Linda Morris Brown, DrPH, a senior research epidemiologist at RTI, warned of the rise in oral cancers caused by HPV
  • Oral cancer has been tied to HPV, which is one of the most common sexually-transmitted diseases in the United States
  • The briefing featured experts who presented research on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of early childhood dental decay, and HPV-related oral cancer