HEAD AND NECK ONCOLOGY: Edited by Cesare PiazzaPotential therapeutic implications of the new tumor, node, metastasis staging system for human papillomavirus-mediated oropharyngeal cancerHuang, Shao H.a; Li, Jishib; Xu, Zhiyuanb; O'Sullivan, Briana,bAuthor Information aDepartment of Radiation Oncology, The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada bDepartment of Clinical Oncology, The University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen Hospital, Shenzhen, China Correspondence to Brian O'Sullivan, MD, FRCPC, FRCPI, FFRRCSI (Hon), FASTRO, Department of Radiation Oncology, Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University of Toronto, Room 7-323, 700 University Avenue, Toronto, ON, Canada M5G 1Z5. E-mail: Brian.OSullivan@rmp.uhn.ca Current Opinion in Otolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgery: April 2020 - Volume 28 - Issue 2 - p 100-106 doi: 10.1097/MOO.0000000000000607 Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose of review The 8th edition tumor, node, metastasis (TNM) classification (TNM-8) introduced a new classification for human papillomavirus (HPV)-mediated oropharyngeal carcinoma (HPV+ OPC). This review summarizes its potential therapeutic implications focusing on literature published since 2018. Recent findings The following are active research areas involved in clinical care and therapy relevant to TNM-8: tumor HPV testing and its clinical implications; stage I disease: treatment selection and lessons learned from recent deintensification trials; emerging strategies addressing stage II and III disease. Summary The TNM-8 classification depicts prognosis of HPV+ OPC much more reliably compared with TNM-7. Among the advantages in outcome comparison and stratification for clinical trial entry and conduct, it also enables more satisfactory individual patient consultation to adequately estimate prognosis, and facilitates clinical and translational research. However, clinicians must remain mindful that the TNM classification is not a guideline for treatment but, instead, provides a framework for clinical research and treatment decision-making. The TNM-8 has potential to improve risk-tailored treatment algorithms for HPV+ OPC including selection of treatment modality (primary trans-oral surgery vs. radiotherapy, addition of chemotherapy) and adjusting the intensity of approaches. To realize these goals fully, it is apparent that the TNM-8 needs to evolve further. Copyright © 2020 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.