Background: Recently the HPV genome has been detected in 75-80% of uterine cervical squamous cell carcinomas. High-risk HPV 16,18,31,33, and 45 are frequently associated with invasive carcinoma of the oral cavity, oropharynx, larynx, and nasal cavity. In this study we investigated the association of HPV16 and 18 in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) using PCR-based methods.
Materials and methods: Ninety-eight fresh frozen tissues from HNSCC were collected. The samples were consisted of 26 cases from the larynx, 19 from the nasal and paranasal sinus, 16 the hypopharynx, 14 the oral cavity, 13 the oropharynx, and 10 from the nasopharynx. The presence of HPV genome was examined by PCR using HPV16 and 18 specific primers encoding E7 ORF.
Results: HPV16-DNA was detected in 23% of all cases (23/98), 31% (8/26) larynx, 16% (3/19) nasal and paranasal sinus, 19% (3/16) hypopharynx, 21% (3/14) oral cavity, 38% (5/13) oropharynx, and 10% (1/10) nasopharynx. HPV18-DNA was detected in 4% of all cases (4/98), 8% (2/26) larynx, and 15% (2/13) oropharynx. 54% (7/13) in oropharynx and 38% (10/26) in larynx showed rather high prevalence in the head and neck.
Conclusions: HPV 16 and 18 play an important role in carcinogenesis of the head and neck, especially, in the oropharynx and larynx.