Human papillomavirus is a favourable prognostic factor in tonsillar cancer and its oncogenic role is supported by the expression of E6 and E7

Mol Oncol. 2007 Dec;1(3):350-5. doi: 10.1016/j.molonc.2007.08.005. Epub 2007 Sep 1.


From 1970 to 2002 in the Stockholm area, we revealed a parallel three-fold increase in the incidence of tonsillar cancer and the proportion of human papillomavirus (HPV) positive tonsillar cancer cases, indicating a possible role of HPV infection in this disease. We have now examined whether HPV and viral load in pre-treatment tonsillar cancer biopsies correlates to disease prognosis, and whether the presence of HPV-16 E6 and E7 mRNA could be ascertained. The presence of HPV-16, but not viral load, in tonsillar cancer was shown to be a favourable prognostic factor for clinical outcome. Moreover, E6 and/or E7 were expressed in almost all assessable HPV-16 positive cases, supporting an oncogenic role of HPV-16 in tonsillar cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biopsy
  • Female
  • Human papillomavirus 16 / genetics*
  • Human papillomavirus 16 / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oncogene Proteins, Viral / genetics*
  • Papillomavirus E7 Proteins / genetics*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / genetics
  • Papillomavirus Infections / virology*
  • Prognosis
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • RNA, Viral / analysis
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Tonsillar Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Tonsillar Neoplasms / genetics
  • Tonsillar Neoplasms / surgery
  • Tonsillar Neoplasms / virology*
  • Viral Load


  • Oncogene Proteins, Viral
  • Papillomavirus E7 Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA, Viral