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Anticancer Res. 2000 Mar-Apr;20(2B):1301-5.

Human papillomavirus in head and neck carcinomas: prevalence, physical status and relationship with clinical/pathological parameters.

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  • 1Laboratory of Virology, Regina Elena Cancer Institute, Rome, Italy.


The association of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection to head and neck squamous cell carcinomas was evaluated in 66 patients affected by tumours of the oral cavity (n = 38), the tonsil (n = 4), the pharynx (n = 2), and the larynx (n = 22). HPV DNA was detected by PCR-based assays, recognizing late and early genes. Twenty-four cases were HPV infected (36.4%), mostly by high and/or intermediate risk types. HPV 16 was integrated in 7/12 positive tumours without site-specificity. HPV infection was not related to age, gender, tumour stage, differentiation grade, and use of alcohol and/or tobacco. The findings indicate that HPV infection may be related to a proportion of head and neck carcinomas but its association is not as clear as that found in cervical cancer.

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