, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 301-307
Date: 12 Oct 2012

Human papillomavirus infection and papillary squamous cell carcinoma in the head and neck region

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Papillary squamous cell carcinoma (PSCC) is a rare variant of SCC in the head and neck region. The role of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in PSCC is still unclear. We retrospectively reviewed 11 PSCCs in our institute over a 21-year period and compared the HPV status of PSCCs with 26 squamous cell papillomas (SCPs). Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification to detect HPV DNA and in situ hybridization (ISH) were performed to analyze the relationship between the papillary lesions and HPV infection. Immunohistochemical (IHC) staining for p16 protein expression was used to analyze the PSCC specimens. Nine of 11 (82 %), eight of 11 (73 %), and eight of 11 (73 %) PSCC samples were found to be HPV positive by PCR, ISH, and IHC staining for p16 protein expression, respectively. PSCC had a significantly higher rate of HPV infection than SCP by PCR (p = 0.002) and ISH (p = 0.001) analysis. This study presents different HPV status in two papillary neoplasms and may help to clarify the unique morphological and biological characteristics of head and neck PSCC.

Chung-Feng Hwang and Chao-Cheng Huang contributed equally to this manuscript.