Significance of p16 Positive Expression in Oropharyngeal Cancers


Background: The involvement of HPV in oral and oropharyngeal carcinogenesis was first proposed in 2004,based on epithelial HPV tropism and detection of HPV genotypes in oral squamous cell carcinoma samples.While 60-70% of oropharynx tumors may be HPV-positive, only 10 to 19% of tumors of the oral cavity, larynxand hypopharynx appear to have HPV infection. The aim of the study was to evaluate HPV infection associatedwith oropharyngeal cancer. Materials and
Methods: Seventy-eight cases were selected for p16 immunoexpressionreactions, and demographic data were collected for comparisons.
Results: Most patients were over 60 years old,and 64.1% were smokers. Immunohistochemistry results showed that 86.3% of cases stained positive for p16protein.
Conclusion: The oropharyngeal cancer profile at Erasto Gaertner Hospital presented a high index ofsmokers over 60 years as well a high number of p16+ tumors, for what we can not determinate the main etiologicfactor, but can be aware of the number of patients that presented HPV infection. Since prevention is still thebest way to deal with cancer disease, it is important to analyze the interaction of these two etiologic factors andhow to detect lesions at an early stage.