p16 status and high-risk human papilloma virus infection in squamous cell carcinoma of the nasal vestibule

Auris Nasus Larynx. 2023 Dec;50(6):942-947. doi: 10.1016/j.anl.2023.03.008. Epub 2023 Apr 23.


Objective: The status of human papilloma virus (HPV) and p16 overexpression for nasal vestibule squamous cell carcinoma (NVSCC) is unclear. The purpose of this retrospective study was to analyze the presence of HPV and the role of p16 overexpression as a surrogate marker in cases of NVSCC.

Methods: Retrospective analysis was performed on patients who were diagnosed and treated for NVSCC at the University of Tokyo Hospital, Japan. p16 immunohistochemistry was considered positive with at least moderate staining intensity and diffuse staining (≥75% of tumor cells), according to the 8th edition of the American Joint Commission on Cancer. HPV-DNA testing was performed using multiplex polymerase chain reaction.

Results: Five patients were included in the study. Ages ranged from 55 to 78 years; there were two men and three women; two had T2N0, and three had T4aN0. Surgery was performed in one case, surgery plus radiation therapy (RT) in one case, and chemoradiation therapy (CRT) in three cases. Four of the five tumors showed p16 overexpression. One of five cases had an HPV-16 genotype. The mean follow-up period was 73 months, and all the patients survived. One patient with p16-negative carcinoma had local recurrence and underwent salvage surgery. Of the four patients with p16-positive carcinoma, one with CRT and one with surgery plus RT, each had delayed cervical lymph node metastasis, which was salvaged with neck dissection subsequent RT.

Conclusions: In NVSCC, four of the five cases were p16-positive, and one was high-risk HPV infection.

Keywords: HPV-related cancer; High-risk HPV; Squamous cell carcinoma of the nasal vestibule; Surrogate marker; p16.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell* / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell* / virology
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p16* / genetics
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p16* / metabolism
  • Female
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms* / metabolism
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms* / virology
  • Human Papillomavirus Viruses
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Papillomaviridae / genetics
  • Papillomavirus Infections* / complications
  • Papillomavirus Infections* / diagnosis
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p16