Dynamics and Determinants of HPV Infection: The Michigan HPV and Oropharyngeal Cancer (M-HOC) Study.


This study has been approved by the University of Michigan Institutional Review Board. All participants are consented in person by trained study staff. Study results will be disseminated through peer-reviewed publications.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the primary cause of cervical and other anogenital cancers and is also associated with head and neck cancers. Incidence of HPV-related oropharyngeal squamous cell cancers (OPSCCs) is increasing, and HPV-related OPSCCs have surpassed cervical cancer as the most common HPV-related cancer in the USA. Given the multisite nature of HPV, there is strong interest in collecting data from both genital and oral sites, as well as associated data on social and sexual behaviours. The overarching goal of this study is to evaluate patterns of oral HPV infection incidence, clearance and persistence and their relationship to sexual behaviour history.

Participants are recruited from two populations: college students at a large public university and general population from the surrounding area. At the first study visit, participants complete a detailed sexual history, health and behaviour questionnaire. Follow-up visits occur every 3-4 months over 3 years, when participants complete an abbreviated questionnaire. All participants provide a saliva sample at each visit, and eligible participants may provide a cervicovaginal self-swab. Genetic material isolated from specimens is tested for 15 high-risk and 3 low-risk HPV types. Statistical analyses will examine outcome variables including HPV prevalence, incidence, persistence and clearance. Logistic regression models will be used to estimate odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for associations between the outcomes of interest and demographic/behavioural variables collected in the questionnaires. The longitudinal HPV infection data and detailed sexual history data collected in the questionnaires will allow us to develop individual-based network models of HPV transmission and will be used to parameterise multiscale models of HPV-related OPSC carcinogenesis.

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