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Small Cell Neuroendocrine Carcinoma of the Oropharynx Harbouring Oncogenic HPV-Infection

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Abstract

Small cell carcinoma/neuroendocrine carcinoma (SCNEC) of the oropharynx is uncommon. Recently, an association has been reported between oropharyngeal SCNEC and high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. While HPV infection confers a better prognosis for oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma, HPV infection does not appear to influence the biological behaviour of SCNECs, which are generally associated with poor clinical outcomes. We document two cases of SCNEC arising in the oropharynx with evidence of high-risk HPV infection. The cases highlight the expanding range of malignant oropharyngeal neoplasms that harbour oncogenic HPV infection and support the concept that, irrespective of HPV infection, neuroendocrine differentiation portends a poor prognosis.

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Correspondence to Timothy Bates.

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Bates, T., McQueen, A., Iqbal, M.S. et al. Small Cell Neuroendocrine Carcinoma of the Oropharynx Harbouring Oncogenic HPV-Infection. Head and Neck Pathol 8, 127–131 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12105-013-0471-y

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12105-013-0471-y

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