The specialized databases have not been updated for the most recent SEER data release, which includes data from the November 2020 data submission. We are still accepting requests for the databases from the November 2018 submission.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is a prognostic factor for certain Head and Neck malignant tumors. SEER has collected data on the HPV status of patients with Head and Neck tumors, as defined by the following CS Collaborative Stage Data Collection System, version 02.05 schemas: Hypopharynx, Nasopharynx, Oropharynx, Pharyngeal Tonsil, Pharynx Other, Palate Soft, Tongue Base. Currently, data are available for patients diagnosed between 2010 and 2016 in SEER areas. The HPV status information received from SEER registries has been recoded in the following: 1) HPV Negative; 2) HPV Positive; 3) Unknown/NA.

SEER registries continued to improve with respect to collection of HPV status and the proportion of cases with known status (HPV Positive or HPV Negative) increased significantly between 2010, the first year of data collection, and 2016, the most current year for which data is available. For example, HPV status was known for 27% of new oropharynx cancer cases in 2010 and 72% in 2016.

While NCI releases data back to 2010 to allow for the calculation of 5-year survival estimates using large patient datasets, the use of the dataset for estimation of HPV-positive incidence or prevalence is strongly discouraged.

The database is available in the survival, frequency, and case listing sessions in SEER*Stat for the November 2018 data submission.

How to Access the Head and Neck with HPV Status Database

In order to access a specialized database, you must already have access to SEER Research Plus data with a valid institutional account.

  • If you do not have access to SEER Research Plus data, first follow the steps for institutional account holders to Access the SEER data.
  • If you already have access, send an email to to request access to the Head and Neck with HPV Status Database.
  • Include your SEER*Stat username.
  • Add a brief description of your project and research goals in the email, including the types of analyses or statistics you will use.