Real-time quantitative PCR demonstrates low prevalence of human papillomavirus type 16 in premalignant and malignant lesions of the oral cavity.
PURPOSE: Human papillomavirus (HPV) type-16 has been associated with invasive squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. This study examines the role of HPV-16 in the progression of oral head and neck cancer by determining the quantity of HPV-16 DNA in premalignant and malignant lesions, using real-time quantitative PCR, to more accurately determine the role of HPV-16 in oral head and neck squamous cell carcinogenesis. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: We examined 102 microdissected premalignant head and neck lesions (85 from the oral cavity), 34 invasive oral cavity squamous cell carcinomas, as well as 18 invasive tumors known to be HPV positive by traditional molecular technology for the presence of HPV-16 DNA using real-time quantitative PCR. RESULTS: HPV DNA was detected in 1 of 102 premalignant lesions (0.98%), 1 of 34 (2.9%) invasive oral cavity carcinomas, and 14 of 18 (78%) known HPV-positive tumors. CONCLUSIONS: HPV-16 infection and integration is seldom found in oral premalignant lesions and invasive carcinoma, and therefore rarely contributes to malignant progression in the oral cavity. Furthermore, quantitative PCR is a useful technique that reliably excludes contaminated samples and those with minimal HPV DNA content that is unlikely to be significant in carcinogenesis.
Ha, PK; Pai, SI; Westra, WH; Gillison, ML; Tong, BC; Sidransky, D; Califano, JA
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