September 2019 Integrative Oncology Digest

Alkabbani W, Marrie RA, Bugden S, Alessi-Severini S, Bolton JM, Daeninck P, et al. Persistence of use of prescribed cannabinoid medicines in Manitoba, Canada: a population-based cohort study. Addiction 2019 Oct;114(10):1791-1799 PMID 31240747

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: To estimate prevalence of continuous use (persistence) of prescribed cannabinoid medications for up to 1 year from initial prescription in Manitoba, Canada and predictors of duration of use. DESIGN AND SETTING: A retrospective, population-based, cohort study using administrative data from the Manitoba Population Research Data Repository located at the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, Canada. PARTICIPANTS: People without a record of a previous prescription who were prescribed a cannabinoid medication from 1 April 2004 to 1 April 2016 followed for 1 year from the date of first prescription. MEASUREMENTS: Continuous prescribed cannabinoid medication use was defined as use without a gap exceeding 60 days between prescriptions. The primary outcome was prevalence of continuous prescribed cannabinoid medication use for up to 1 year. A secondary outcome was duration of continuous use. Predictors were socio-demographic characteristics, medical diagnoses and type of cannabinoid medication. FINDINGS: Among 5452 new users, 18.1% [95% confidence interval (CI) = 17.08-19.12] were still using cannabinoids at 1 year. Median duration of use was 31 days [interquartile range (IQR) = 25-193]. This was highest for nabilone (33 days, IQR = 25-199) and lowest for nabiximols (20 days, IQR = 7-30). Use was longest among 19-45- and 46-64-year-old users and those with the highest socio-economic status. Fibromyalgia [hazard ratio (HR) = 0.89, 95% CI = 0.84-0.95], osteoarthritis (HR = 0.91, 95% CI = 0.82-0.97) and substance use disorder (HR = 0.85, 95% CI = 0.76-0.94) diagnoses were associated with longer use (HR for discontinuation-HR < 1 less discontinuation and longer use). A diagnosis of cancer was associated with shorter use (HR = 2.73, 95% CI = 2.02-3.67). CONCLUSIONS: In Manitoba, Canada approximately 18% of people prescribed cannabinoid medication continue using for at least 1 year. Duration of use varies with type of cannabinoid medication, age, socio-economic status and dagnosis.

 

Chang YD, Jung JW, Oberoi-Jassal R, Kim J, Rajasekhara S, Haas M, et al. Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale and Clinical Characteristics Associated With Cannabinoid Use in Oncology Supportive Care Outpatients. J Natl Compr Canc Netw 2019 Sep 1;17(9):1059-1064 PMID 31487688

BACKGROUND: Information about the frequency of cannabinoid use and the clinical characteristics of its users in oncology supportive care is limited. This study explored associations between cannabinoid use and cancer-related clinical characteristics in a cancer population. PATIENTS AND METHODS: This retrospective review included 332 patients who had a urine drug test (UDT) for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) together with completion of an Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale (ESAS) and cannabinoid history questionnaire on the same day that urine was obtained during 1 year in the supportive care clinic. RESULTS: The frequency of positive results for THC in a UDT was 22.9% (n=76). Significant statistical differences were seen between THC-positive and THC-negative patients for age (median of 52 [lower quartile, 44; upper quartile, 56] vs 58 [48; 67] years; P<.001), male sex (53.9% vs 39.5%; P=.034), and past or current cannabinoid use (65.8% vs 26.2%; P<.001). Statistical significance was observed in ESAS items between the THC-positive and THC-negative groups for pain (7 [lower quartile, 5; upper quartile; 8] vs 5 [3; 7]; P=.001), nausea (1 [0; 3] vs 0 [0; 3]; P=.049), appetite (4 [2; 7] vs 3 [0; 5.75]; P=.015), overall well-being (5.5 [4; 7] vs 5 [3; 6]; P=.002), spiritual well-being (5 [2; 6] vs 3 [1; 3]; P=.015), insomnia (7 [5; 9] vs 4 [2; 7]; P<.001), and total ESAS (52 [34; 66] vs 44 [29; 54]; P=.001). Among patients who reported current or past cannabinoid use, THC-positive patients had higher total scores and scores for pain, appetite, overall well-being, spiritual well-being, and insomnia than THC-negative patients. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with cancer receiving outpatient supportive care who had positive UDT results for THC had higher symptom severity scores for pain, nausea, appetite, overall and spiritual well-being, and insomnia compared with their THC-negative counterparts. These results highlight potential opportunities to improve palliative care.

Czamanski-Cohen JP, Wiley JF P, Sela NBA, Caspi O MD ,PhD., Weihs KMD. The role of emotional processing in art therapy (REPAT) for breast cancer patients. J Psychosoc Oncol 2019 Sep-Oct;37(5):586-598 PMID 30929590

Emotional awareness and acceptance of emotion are associated with improved health in breast cancer (BC) patients. Art therapy (AT) uses visual art-making for expression and communication and has been shown to reduce psychological and physical symptoms in individuals with cancer. A major objective of AT is to encourage increases in emotion processing; however, few studies examine these changes. Purpose: To examine the effect of an eight-week AT group on emotion processing as a mechanism of symptom reduction in women with BC. Design: Randomized clinical trial. Sample: Twenty women diagnosed with breast cancer whom had completed primary treatment. Methods: Participants were randomized to participate in eight-weeks of AT or sham AT, which was a mandala coloring group. Participants answered questionnaires before and after the intervention. We used a Cohen's D calculator for effect sizes and a t-test to examine group differences. Findings: Statistically significant between-group differences in emotional awareness and acceptance of emotion were found after the intervention. We found large effect sizes between groups and over time in acceptance of emotion, emotional awareness and depressive symptoms. Conclusions: We conclude that emotion processing in AT may be a potential mechanism reducing depression and somatic symptoms in cancer patients. Implications for Psychosocial Providers: Art Therapy is a feasible intervention to increase emotional processing. A larger study is required to further examine its effect on psychological and physical symptoms in breast cancer patients.

 

Dai H, Richter KP. A National Survey of Marijuana Use Among US Adults With Medical Conditions, 2016-2017. JAMA Netw Open 2019 Sep 4;2(9):e1911936 PMID 31539078

Importance: The number of states legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational use is increasing. Little is known regarding how or why adults with medical conditions use it. Objectives: To report the prevalence and patterns of marijuana use among adults with and without medical conditions, overall and by sociodemographic group, and to further examine the associations between current marijuana use and the types and number of medical conditions. Design, Setting, and Participants: This survey study used a probability sample of US adults aged 18 years and older from the 2016 and 2017 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a telephone-administered survey that collects data from a representative sample of US adult residents across the states regarding health-related risk behaviors, chronic health conditions, and use of preventive services. Main Outcomes and Measures: Current (past month) and daily (>/=20 days in the last 30 days) marijuana use. Results: The study sample included 169036 participants (95780 female [weighted percentage, 52.0%]). Adults with medical conditions had higher odds of reporting current marijuana use than those without medical conditions (age 18-34 years: adjusted odds ratio, 1.8 [95% CI, 1.5-2.1]; age 35-54 years: adjusted odds ratio, 1.4 [95% CI, 1.2-1.7]; age >/=55 years: adjusted odds ratio, 1.6 [95% CI, 1.3-2.0]), especially among those with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, arthritis, cancer, and depression. Among those with medical conditions, the prevalence of marijuana use decreased with increasing age, ranging from 25.2% (95% CI, 22.0%-28.3%) for those aged 18 to 24 years to 2.4% (95% CI, 2.0%-2.8%) for those aged 65 years or older for current marijuana use and from 11.2% (95% CI, 8.7%-13.6%) to 0.9% (95% CI, 0.7%-1.2%), respectively, for daily marijuana use. Most adults who used marijuana (77.5%; 95% CI, 74.7%-80.3%), either with or without medical conditions, reported smoking as their primary method of administration. Adults with medical conditions were more likely than those without medical conditions to report using marijuana for medical reasons (45.5% [95% CI, 41.1%-49.8%] vs 21.8% [95% CI, 17.8%-25.7%]; difference, 23.7% [95% CI, 17.8%-29.6%]) and less likely to report using marijuana for recreational purposes (36.2% [95% CI, 32.1%-40.3%] vs 57.7% [95% CI, 52.6%-62.9%]; difference, -21.5% [95% CI, -28.1% to 14.9%]). Conclusions and Relevance: This study found that marijuana use was more common among adults with medical conditions than those without such conditions. Notably, 11.2% of young adults with medical conditions reported using marijuana on a daily basis. Clinicians should screen for marijuana use among patients, understand why and how patients are using marijuana, and work with patients to optimize outcomes and reduce marijuana-associated risks.

Douglass J, Mableson HE, Martindale S, Kelly-Hope LA. An Enhanced Self-Care Protocol for People Affected by Moderate to Severe Lymphedema. Methods Protoc 2019 Sep 4;2(3):10.3390/mps2030077 PMID 31487887

Lymphedema is a chronic skin disease that has many causes and leads to significant disfigurement and disability worldwide. Recommendations for lymphedema self-care vary by setting and the World Health Organization guidelines for people affected by lymphatic filariasis- and podoconiosis-related lymphedema are centered around a basic daily hygiene regimen. Research on cancer-related lymphedema in developed country settings suggests that deep-breathing exercises and self-massage can improve lymphedema status, but these exercises are not routinely taught to people affected by lymphedema in developing country settings. To determine if the activities proven in cancer-related lymphedema can improve outcomes for people affected by lymphatic filariasis- or podoconiosis-related lymphedema, an enhanced self-care protocol for lower limb lymphedema was developed and trialed in Nilphamari District in Bangladesh and Simada Woreda in Ethiopia. Enhanced self-care activities were chosen on the basis that they would not add financial burden to patients or their families and included recommendations to perform deep-breathing exercises and self-massage, drink clean water, and eat fresh fruits and vegetables. The enhanced-care protocol was developed in collaboration with implementing partners in both countries and may be applicable in other populations affected by lower-limb lymphedema. Trial methods and results will be submitted for peer reviewed publication. Current recommendations for lymphedema self-care may be less effective for people with more advanced disease and new or cross-cutting methods are needed to improve outcomes for these populations.

 

Hall DL, Jimenez RB, Perez GK, Rabin J, Quain K, Yeh GY, et al. Fear of Cancer Recurrence: A Model Examination of Physical Symptoms, Emotional Distress, and Health Behavior Change. J Oncol Pract 2019 Sep;15(9):e787-e797 PMID 31298966

PURPOSE: Fear of cancer recurrence is highly prevalent among adult survivors of cancer. The role of fear of recurrence in the emotional distress of survivors of cancer, as well as health behaviors that may directly affect their health, remains unclear. To advance oncology practice, this study sought to examine the extent to which fear of recurrence stemming from physical symptoms accounts for emotional distress in a large sample of adult survivors of cancer and to extend the model to explain postdiagnosis self-reported health behavior change. METHODS: In 2016, 258 survivors of cancer at an academic hospital completed a survey of psychosocial needs. Items assessed physical symptoms (checklist), fear of cancer recurrence (Assessment of Survivor Concerns), emotional distress (anxiety and depressed mood), and health behaviors (current alcohol use, physical activity, diet, and sunscreen use, as well as changes after cancer diagnosis) informed by National Comprehensive Cancer Network survivorship guidelines. Indirect effects regression models accounting for relevant covariates (age and treatment history) used 5,000-iteration bootstrapping. RESULTS: Higher fear of cancer recurrence was associated with greater number of physical symptoms (P < .001), greater emotional distress (P < .05), lower moderate or vigorous physical activity (P < .05), higher sunscreen use (P < .05), and postdiagnosis increases in alcohol use (P < .01) and reductions in physical activity (P < .01). Fear of cancer recurrence models accounted for almost half of the variance in distress of survivors of cancer (R(2) = 0.44, P < .001) and, to a lesser yet significant extent, changes in alcohol consumption (R(2) = 0.09, P < .001) and physical activity (R(2) = 0.06, P = .003). CONCLUSION: Fear of cancer recurrence plays a central role in the emotional distress and key health behaviors of survivors of cancer. These findings support fear of cancer recurrence as a potential target for emotional health and health behavior change interventions.

 

Hollen PJ, O'Laughlen MC, Hellems MA, Hinton ID, Xin W, Patrie JT. Comparison of two cohorts of medically at-risk adolescents engaging in substance use (cancer survivors and asthmatics): Clinical predictors for monitoring care. J Am Assoc Nurse Pract 2019 Sep;31(9):513-521 PMID 31169784

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Medically at-risk adolescents differ in their perception of severity and are vulnerable to substance use because of effects on their medical regimen. The intent in comparing two cohorts, adolescent survivors of cancer and teens with asthma, is to provide clinical predictors to help in monitoring those needing help with substance use decision making. METHODS: Baseline data were obtained from two randomized controlled trials for a decision-making program of research for medically at-risk adolescents. Multivariate analyses were used to identify clinical predictors for poor decision making as well as lifetime and current substance use (smoking, alcohol use, and marijuana use). CONCLUSIONS: Predictors for both cohorts for lifetime and current substance use were increasing age and risk motivation. A significant predictor for both cohorts for poor decision making related to substance use was risk motivation, measured as a more positive attitude for engaging in substance use. Negative modeling by peers and family members had an impact on teen survivors' decision making; but, this was not clear for teens with asthma. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Research is needed comparing other medically at-risk adolescents to determine which cohorts on the substance use spectrum are less resilient to peer and parent modeling, have unrealistic views of their decision-making skills, and need close monitoring and guidance.

 

Lagrange A, Decoux D, Briot N, Hennequin A, Coudert B, Desmoulins I, et al. Visceral osteopathic manipulative treatment reduces patient reported digestive toxicities induced by adjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancer: A randomized controlled clinical study. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 2019 Oct;241:49-55 PMID 31430616

OBJECTIVE: Breast cancer patients often benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy, a protocol whose effectiveness is accompanied by disabling adverse effects. The aim of this controlled clinical study was to determine the impact of visceral osteopathy on the incidence of nausea/vomiting, constipation and overall quality of life (QoL) in women operated for breast cancer and undergoing adjuvant chemotherapy in Centre Georges Francois Leclerc, CGFL. STUDY DESIGN: Ninety-four women operated for a breast cancer stage 1-3, in complete resection and to whom a 3 FEC 100 chemotherapy was prescribed, were randomly allocated to experimental or placebo group. Experimental group underwent a visceral osteopathic technique and placebo group was subjected to a superficial manipulation after each chemotherapy cycle. Rate of grade >/=1 nausea/vomiting or constipation, on the first 3 cycles of FEC 100, were reported. QoL was evaluated using the EORTC QLQ-C30 questionnaire. RESULTS: Rate of nausea/vomiting episodes of grade >/=1 was high in both experimental and placebo group. Constipation episodes of grade >/=1 were also frequent. No significant differences were found between the two groups concerning the rate of nausea/vomiting (p = 0.569) or constipation (p = 0.204) according to clinician reported side-effects but patient reported impact of constipation and diarrhoea on quality of life was significantly lower in experimental group (p = 0.036 and p = 0.038, respectively). CONCLUSION: Osteopathy does not reduce the incidence of nausea/vomiting in women operated for breast cancer and undergoing adjuvant chemotherapy. In contrast, patient reported digestive quality of life was significantly ameliorated by osteopathy. Clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT02840890.

 

Moss JL, Liu B, Zhu L. Adolescent Behavioral Cancer Prevention in the United States: Creating a Composite Variable and Ranking States' Performance. Health Educ Behav 2019 Oct;46(5):865-876 PMID 30964336

Preventive behaviors established during adolescence can reduce cancer throughout the life span. Understanding the combinations of multiple behaviors, and how these behaviors vary across states, is important for identifying where additional interventions are needed. Using data on 2011-2015 vaccination, energy balance, and substance use from national surveys, we created state-level composite scores for adolescent cancer prevention. Hierarchical Bayesian linear mixed models were used to predict estimates for states with no data on select behaviors. We used a Monte Carlo procedure with 100,000 simulations to generate states' ranks and 95% confidence intervals. Across states, hepatitis B vaccination was 84.3% to 97.1%, and human papillomavirus vaccination was 41.8% to 78.0% for girls and 19.0% to 59.3% for boys. For energy balance, 20.2% to 34.6% of adolescents met guidelines for physical activity, 4.1% to 15.8% for fruit and vegetable consumption, and 66.4% to 82.0% for healthy weight. For substance use, 82.5% to 93.5% reported abstaining from binge alcohol use, 84.3% to 95.4% from cigarette smoking, and 62.9% to 92.8% from marijuana use. (1) Rhode Island, (2) Colorado, (4) Hawaii and New Hampshire (tied), and (5) Vermont performed the best for adolescent cancer prevention, and (47) Missouri, (48) Arkansas, Mississippi, and South Carolina (tied), and (51) Kentucky performed the worst. However, 95% CIs around ranks often overlapped, indicating lack of statistical differences. Adolescent cancer prevention behaviors clustered into a composite index. States varied on their performance on this index, especially for states at the high and low extremes, but most states did not differ statistically. These findings can inform decision makers about where and how to intervene to improve cancer prevention among adolescents.

 

Murthy RS, Alexander A. Progress in psycho-oncology with special reference to developing countries. Curr Opin Psychiatry 2019 Sep;32(5):442-450 PMID 31373929

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Psycho-oncology has completed 25 years. There is growing recognition of the psychosocial needs of persons living with cancer and the role of sociocultural factors in addressing the needs. This review addresses the research in developing countries relating to distress associated with living with cancer and psychosocial care. RECENT FINDINGS: There is growing recognition of the emotional needs, understanding of the sociocultural aspects of the emotional responses of persons, caregivers, role of resilience and posttraumatic growth and spirituality in cancer care. Psychosocial aspects of cancer are largely influenced by social, economic, cultural, religious and health systems. A number of innovative approaches to care like use of yoga, financial and material support and involvement of caregivers have been implemented. A positive development is the increasing professional attention to document and develop innovative care programmes. SUMMARY: A significant proportion of the general population are living with cancer. There are significant psychosocial needs largely influenced by social, economic, cultural, religious aspects of the communities. There are a wide range of interventions from self-care to professional care to address the needs. In developing countries, there is need for longitudinal studies of psycho-social experiences, develop interventions that are culturally appropriate, along with enhanced use of information technology along with evaluation of interventions.

 

Newman TM, Krishnan LP, Lee J, Adami GR. Microbiomic differences at cancer-prone oral mucosa sites with marijuana usage. Sci Rep 2019 Sep 3;9(1):12697-019-48768-z PMID 31481657

Marijuana smoke contains cannabinoids, immunosuppressants, and a mixture of potentially-mutagenic chemicals. In addition to systemic disease, it is thought to contribute to oral disease, such as tooth loss, tissue changes in the gums and throat, and possibly oral pharyngeal cancer. We used a cross-sectional study of 20 marijuana users and 19 control non-users, to determine if chronic inhalation-based exposure to marijuana was associated with a distinct oral microbiota at the two most common sites of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), the lateral border of the tongue and the oral pharynx. At the tongue site, genera earlier shown to be enriched on HNSCC mucosa, Capnocytophaga, Fusobacterium, and Porphyromonas, were at low levels in marijuana users, while Rothia, which is found at depressed levels on HNSCC mucosa, was high. At the oral pharynx site, differences in bacteria were distinct, with higher levels of Selenomonas and lower levels of Streptococcus which is what is seen in HNSCC. No evidence was seen for a contribution of marijuana product contaminating bacteria to these differences. This study revealed differences in the surface oral mucosal microbiota with frequent smoking of marijuana.

 

Paim ED, Berbert MCB, Zanella VG, Macagnan FE. Electrical stimulation in the treatment of radiotherapy-induced hyposalivation. Codas 2019 Sep 2;31(4):e20180176-1782/20192018176 PMID 31483040

PURPOSE: To analyze the effects of electrical stimulation on the salivary flow of head and neck cancer patients with radiotherapy-induced hyposalivation. RESEARCH STRATEGIES: Searches were made in the Medline (via Pubmed), Cochrane Library, Scopus and Lilacs databases. SELECTION CRITERIA: Selection included clinical trials that evaluated salivary flow objectively, published in the last 10 years in either Portuguese, English or Spanish. DATA ANALYSIS: The PEDro scale was used for the methodological evaluation of the studies. RESULTS: The search strategy resulted in 21 publications, 17 of which were excluded, hence there were 4 articles left. The included studies had a total of 212 participants, all of whom had an increase in salivary flow, both through the electroacupuncture method and direct application on the salivary glands. The score obtained through the PEDRo scale was low, evidencing questionable methodological quality and risk of bias. CONCLUSION: The included studies demonstrate the clinical potential of TENS to increase the salivary flow of head and neck cancer patients treated with RT.

 

Stein E, Rayar M, Krishnadev U, Gupta A, Hyslop S, Plenert E, et al. A feasibility study examining the impact of yoga on psychosocial health and symptoms in pediatric outpatients receiving chemotherapy. Support Care Cancer 2019 Oct;27(10):3769-3776 PMID 30712097

PURPOSE: Pediatric cancer patients experience symptoms that negatively impact quality of life; yoga may be an effective intervention. The primary objective was to determine the feasibility of a 10-week, weekly individualized yoga intervention for children and adolescents receiving outpatient cancer therapy primarily delivered remotely using Skype. Secondary objectives were to describe depression, anxiety, anger, fatigue, quality of life, and symptoms at 5 and 10 weeks after enrollment. METHODS: We included English-speaking patients aged 10 to 18 years receiving outpatient chemotherapy for cancer. Weekly individualized yoga sessions were offered for 10 weeks. Weeks 1, 5, and 10 were in-hospital while the remaining sessions were delivered remotely using Skype. Twice weekly, homework was assigned between each session. The primary outcome was feasibility, defined as 80% of participants completing at least 60% of planned in-hospital or remote yoga sessions. RESULTS: Between March and November 2017, 10 patients were enrolled. Two patients discontinued the study after one and two sessions. Only six participants achieved at least 60% of planned yoga sessions and thus, the study did not meet the a priori defined feasibility threshold. Among all participants, only one homework session was performed. CONCLUSIONS: A 10-week individualized in-person and remotely conducted yoga intervention was not feasible in children receiving cancer treatments because of failure to achieve the desired frequency of yoga sessions in a sufficient number of participants. Future research should identify approaches to improve compliance with remote yoga sessions and home practice. TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT03318068.

 

Valentino WL, McKinnon BJ. What is the evidence for cannabis use in otolaryngology?: A narrative review. Am J Otolaryngol 2019 Sep - Oct;40(5):770-775 PMID 31174932

OBJECTIVES: Review of the English literature for all studies involving cannabis and Otolaryngology. METHODS: PubMed was searched using a combination of the terms cannabis, marijuana, otolaryngology, hearing, tinnitus, vestibular, rhinology, sinusitis, laryngology, voice, airway, head and neck, head and neck cancer, facial trauma, spasm, pediatric otolaryngology, sleep medicine, obstructive sleep apnea, and other variations. Literature included in the review provided substantive research on cannabis in Otolaryngology. RESULTS: Seventy-nine unique publications were found in the literature. The majority were published in the last decade and pertain to the subspecialty of Head and Neck; specifically, its association with incident cancers. A small number of studies exist that suggest cannabis may be a useful therapy for Otolaryngological patients suffering from blepharospasm, the effects of radiation, and the psychological sequelae of receiving a cancer diagnosis. CONCLUSION: Further research is required to determine the potential therapeutic roles and adverse effects of cannabis on conditions related to Otolaryngology. This study serves the Otolaryngological researcher with the most current, comprehensive literature review for the exploration into possible projects to undertake.
Zhang H, Xie M, Levin M, Archibald SD, Jackson BS, Young JEM, et al. Survival outcomes of marijuana users in p16 positive oropharynx cancer patients. J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2019 Sep 2;48(1):43 PMID 31477184

BACKGROUND: Oropharynx squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) has become the predominant subsite for head and neck mucosal cancers (HNC) due to the rise of human papillomavirus (HPV) related disease. Previous studies have suggested an association between marijuana use and HPV-related OPSCC. Despite this, no study has examined the potential relationship between marijuana use and survival in this subset of patients. OBJECTIVE: To examine the survival outcomes of HPV-related OPSCC patients in marijuana users. METHODS: Patients who were marijuana users were identified from a prospectively collected database of HNC patients from January 2011 to 2015. A physical review of clinic records was undertaken to extract relevant patient, tumor, treatment, follow-up, as well as survival data. Patients greater than 17 years of age with pathologically proven p16 positive OPSCC were included. They were then case-matched in a 1-to-1 basis to patients who were non-marijuana users based on age, gender, and cTNM staging. RESULTS: Forty-Seven patients met inclusion criteria within each group. Univariate logistic regression analysis showed that age, gender, and cT-Stage were predictive of disease recurrence within both groups (p 0.05). There was no statistically significant difference between marijuana and non-marijuana user groups in 5-year (p = 0.400) overall survival, disease-specific (p = 0.993), disease-free (p = 0.404), and metastasis-free survival (p = 0.384). CONCLUSIONS: No survival difference is found between HPV-related OPSCC marijuana users and non-users. This finding has implications for both de-escalation regimes and the use of cannabis as a therapeutic agent.