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Human papillomaviruses in lymph node neck metastases of head and neck cancers



Human papillomaviruses in lymph node neck metastases of head and neck cancers



Acta Oto-Laryngologica 125(4): 415-421



The results of this study corroborate earlier findings that human papillomavirus (HPV)16 is the most prevalent type of HPV in squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck (SCCHNs) and reinforce a possible influence of HPV on SCCHN progression by showing that the majority of HPV-positive patients harbor HPV16 (or HPV33) both in their primary tumors and in lymph node neck metastases (LNNMs). HPVs are causally associated with carcinomas of the uterine cervix and have also been linked to a subset of SCCHNs. In order to further investigate the predicted causative role of HPV in SCCHNs, we analyzed pairs of primary tumors and LNNMs or LNNMs alone for the presence of HPV DNA using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). DNA was extracted from fresh frozen tissue samples of primary tumors and the corresponding LNNMs of 18 patients and from LNNMs alone in 17 patients. For the detection and typing of HPV, PCR was performed using both type-specific and consensus primer pairs, followed by Southern hybridization and, in selected cases, sequencing of the PCR products. Of the 35 patients investigated, 22 (63%) were found to have HPV DNA in their tumors: HPV16 DNA in 21 cases and HPV33 in 1. The highest HPV prevalence was detected in tumors of Waldeyer's tonsillar ring (8/9 patients; 89%). Of the 18 patients in whom primary tumors and LNNMs were analyzed, 7 (39%) were HPV-positive in both samples (HPV16, n = 6; HPV33, n = 1), in 3 (17%) the primary tumors were HPV-negative and the LNNMs HPV16-positive and in 1 (5.5%) the primary tumor contained HPV16 and the LNNM was negative. Interestingly, of the 7 patients in whom LNNMs had been detected only several months after diagnosis and treatment of the primary tumors, only 1 showed infection with HPV (HPV33).

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Accession: 049253445

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PMID: 15823814

DOI: 10.1080/00016480510028528


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