Oops, you're using an old version of your browser so some of the features on this page may not be displaying properly.

MINIMAL Requirements: Google Chrome 24+Mozilla Firefox 20+Internet Explorer 11Opera 15–18Apple Safari 7SeaMonkey 2.15-2.23

ESMO E-Learning: HPV-Related Cancers: Prevention, Vaccines and Treatment

New E-Learning module by Prof Badoual and Prof Mirghani is now available. Watch the presentation and take the CME test today!

ESMO members

Take the CME test and receive

1 ESMO - MORA point

93 slides / 56 minutes

Learning objectives

  1. To provide an update on prevalence and natural history of human papilloma virus (HPV) infection in various anatomical sites
  2. To recognise high-risk HPV genotypes and relate them to particular cancer types
  3. To understand the natural course of disease among patients with HPV-driven cancers in various anatomical sites
  4. To understand the importance of prevention for HPV-driven cancers control and provide an update on prevention strategies
  5. To provide a current status and prospect of research efforts in terms of therapeutic HPV vaccination


In this E-Learning module the authors present several aspects of human papilloma virus (HPV)-related cancers starting from the prevalence and natural history of HPV infection in various anatomical sites, matching high-risk HPV types with certain cancer types, HPV-related carcinogenesis, course of disease in HPV-related cancers, prevention strategies, specificities in terms of treatment and research efforts.

According to GLOBOCAN 2018 database, an estimated 2.2 million infection-attributable cancer cases were diagnosed worldwide with HPV-attributable cancers being in the second position with 690 000 cases. The cancer burden attributed to HPV showed the clearest relationship with country income level being higher in low-income than in high-income countries.

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the world. It is so common that nearly all sexually active men and women will get at least one type of HPV at some point in their lives​.

Cervical cancer represents the “historical” model of ​HPV-driven carcinogenesis and other organs affected are vulva, vagina, anus, penis and recently, high-risk HPVs have been recognised as a risk factor responsible for an increasing number of oropharyngeal cancers. The authors emphasise in their module that HPV-driven oropharyngeal cancers are an emerging disease which is distinct from traditional head and neck cancers caused by smoking and ​alcohol consumption. ​

​It is not possible to precisely date the time of infection and the vast majority of infection will spontaneously clear​. Persistent infection is very rare and depends on several factors related to the host, the virus and the environment. The authors underline that a prevalence and the natural history of HPV infection vary from an anatomical site to another. ​In particular, they emphasise that it is not about one but multiple HPVs, not one but multiple diseases, and not one but multiple cancers.

The authors also underline that there is a wide range of assays to identify HPV infection and HPV-driven cancers​. The choice will depend on several factors including the advantages and drawbacks of each test​, the population (healthy individuals versus pre/cancer patients) , and the anatomical location. There is a crucial need for resources directed towards HPV prevention.

Last update: 18 Nov 2020

Prof Badoual has reported honoraria for speaker, consultancy and advisory roles for AstraZeneca, MSD, BMS; Speaker role for Roche, Advisory role for Carcidiag, booklet redaction for Merck. Research funding from AstraZeneca, Servier, MSD and Malakoff Médéric.

Prof Mirghani has reported honoraria for speaker, consultancy, advisory and board roles for MSD, BMS; Speaker and board role for BMS and Merck Serono. Financial support to his Institution from MSD.

This site uses cookies. Some of these cookies are essential, while others help us improve your experience by providing insights into how the site is being used.

For more detailed information on the cookies we use, please check our Privacy Policy.

Customise settings
  • Necessary cookies enable core functionality. The website cannot function properly without these cookies, and you can only disable them by changing your browser preferences.