Objective: In this study we aimed to investigate the presence of human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) and human papillomavirus (HPV) in laryngeal carcinoma.
Materials and methods: Fifty patients operated on because of laryngeal carcinoma were included in the study. Forty-seven had squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) whereas three had verrucous carcinoma. Fresh tumoral tissues, or tumoral tissues obtained from archival paraffin-embedded blocks, were examined. HHV-8 DNA and HPV DNA were detected using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and viral genotypes of HPV were determined via the hybrid capture method. The presence of HHV-8 DNA and HPV DNA were also investigated in normal appearing laryngeal tissue collected from 50 cadavers at autopsy.
Results: HPV DNA was detected in seven patients (7/50; 14%) (5 out of 47 patients with SCC (5/47; 10.6%) and two out of three patients with verrucous carcinoma). HHV-8 DNA was detected in five patients and they all had SCC (5/47; 10.6%). One case had both HHV-8 and HPV DNA. None of the control samples from cadavers harbored HHV-8 DNA, or HPV DNA. There was a statistically significant correlation between HHV-8 DNA and HPV DNA positivity and laryngeal SCC (Fisher exact test; p=0.023 for each). No statistically significant correlations were found between the presence of HHV-8 and/or HPV and age, gender, tumor stage, differentiation, the site of the tumor, smoking and alcohol use.
Conclusions: The findings of the present study suggest that beside HPV, HHV-8 might have a role in laryngeal carcinogenesis. Further investigations are necessary to clarify the exact role of these viruses in laryngeal carcinoma.