Use of in situ hybridization to detect human papillomavirus in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma patients without a history of alcohol or tobacco use.
CONTEXT: Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma is commonly associated with tobacco and alcohol use. There are, however, a group of patients without a significant history of tobacco or alcohol use, and the etiology of these tumors is incompletely understood. OBJECTIVE: To examine tumors in this subpopulation for association with human papillomavirus (HPV) using newly available in situ hybridization probes. DESIGN: Between October 2004 and October 2005, 22 patients who did not use alcohol or tobacco were included. Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue sections were used to perform in situ hybridization using newly available probe sets (Ventana Medical Systems, Tucson, Ariz). The slides were examined for the presence of integrated HPV using light microscopy. Positive and negative xenograft controls were run with the assay. Results.-The mean age of the patients was 64 years. There were 14 men and 8 women. The most common anatomic sites included tongue (n = 8), tonsil (n = 7), and larynx (n = 7). All cases and controls were successfully stained. Only 2 cases were positive for high-risk HPV, and both demonstrated an integrated pattern. Both cases were tumors of the tonsil. No cases were positive for low-risk HPV. CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate that the new probe sets for HPV can be used very efficiently in clinical pathology material of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Our data show that high-risk HPV is an uncommon finding in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma from patients who do not have a history of tobacco or alcohol use; low-risk HPV was not seen in any case.
Lee, WT; Tubbs, RR; Teker, AM; Scharpf, J; Strome, M; Wood, B; Lorenz, RR; Hunt, J
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