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Young-Hoon Joo 1 Article
Prevalence of high-risk human papillomavirus and its genotype distribution in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas
Yuil Kim, Young-Hoon Joo, Min-Sik Kim, Youn Soo Lee
J Pathol Transl Med. 2020;54(5):411-418.   Published online July 21, 2020
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  • 10 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
High-risk (HR) human papillomavirus (HPV) is found in a subset of head and neck (HN) squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs). For oropharyngeal SCCs, HR HPV positivity is known to be associated with good prognosis, and a separate staging system for HPV-associated carcinomas using p16 immunohistochemistry (IHC) as a surrogate test has been adopted in the 8th American Joint Committee on Cancer staging system. We examined the HR HPV status and the genotype distribution in five HN subsites.
Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue sections were used for p16 IHC and DNA extraction. HPV DNA detection and genotyping were done employing either a DNA chip-based or real-time polymerase chain reaction–based method.
During 2011–2019, a total of 466 SCCs were tested for HPV DNA with 34.1% positivity for HR HPV. Among HN subsites, the oropharynx showed the highest HR HPV prevalence (149/205, 75.1%), followed by the sinonasal tract (3/14, 21.4%), larynx (5/43, 11.6%), hypopharynx (1/38, 2.6%), and oral cavity (1/166, 0.6%). The most common HPV genotype was HPV16 (84.3%) followed by HPV35 (6.9%) and HPV33 (4.4%). Compared with HR HPV status, the sensitivity and specificity of p16 IHC were 98.6% and 94.3% for the oropharynx, and 99.2% and 93.8% for the tonsil, respectively.
Using a Korean dataset, we confirmed that HR HPV is most frequently detected in oropharyngeal SCCs. p16 positivity showed a good concordance with HR HPV DNA for oropharyngeal and especially tonsillar carcinomas. The use of p16 IHC may further be extended to predict HR HPV positivity in sinonasal tract SCCs.


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