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J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2004 Dec;23(4):561-6.

Presence of HPV in head and neck tumours: high prevalence in tonsillar localization.

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  • 1Laboratory of Virology, Regina Elena Cancer Institute, San Carlo, IDI IRCCS, Rome, Italy. venuti@ifo.it

Abstract

Human papillomavirus (HPV) seems to be involved in head and neck carcinogenesis. To investigate this association, viral presence and expression were analysed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based methods and correlated to tumour localization, clinical-pathological aspects, and alcohol and tobacco exposure in 65 patients. HPV DNA was found in 16 cases (24.6%); the HPV types detected were: HPV16 (10 cases), HPV 6 (3 cases) HPV 33, 35, and 58 (one case each). The tonsil was the location with the highest HPV positivity (6/8, 75%). This percentage was significantly higher than that found in tumours from any other site (P<0.01). Viral transcripts of early regions were detected in all HPV16 positive tumours. HPV status was not related to age, gender, tumour stage or grade, and use of alcohol and/or tobacco. The results suggest that HPV16 is actively involved in the genesis of a subset of head and neck cancers and that the tonsillar localization may be considered a hot spot for viral transformation.

PMID:
15743024
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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