Human Papillomavirus Investigation in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Initial Report from the Low Risk HPV Types Associations

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Virology, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2 Gastrointestinal and Liver Diseases Research Center (GILDRC), Firoozgar Hospital, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

3 HIV Laboratory of National Center, Deputy of Health, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Background: Head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) are a major health issue in many parts of the world. Recently, attention has focused on the human papilloma virus (HPV) as a potential causative agent for HNSCC. This study aimed to survey HPV occurrence in HNSCCs as part of a comprehensive molecular epidemiology approach. Methods: In this retrospective study, patients were recruited from hospitals affiliated to the Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) blocks were subjected to DNA isolation by QIAamp® DNA FFPE Tissue Kit and nested PCR, HPV-16 specific conventional PCR, and extra INNO-LiPA HPV genotyping assays were subsequently performed. PCR products were purified with a High Pure PCR Product Purification Kit and sequenced with an ABI 3730 XL sequencer. CLC Main Workbench 5 and MEGA5 bioinformatics software was used to analyze the raw data and to create the phylogenetic tree. SPSS v.20 was applied for statistical analysis. Results: A total of 156 FFPE blocks were collected from 2011 to 2017. Total mean age (y) of participants was 60.5 ± 12.6; 77.6 % (121/156) being men and 22.4% (35/156) e women. Overall, 5/156 (3.2%) patients (3 females and 2 males) were found to be HPV positive using the three methods. HPV genotyping revealed HPV types 16, 2, 27, and 43 in these malignancies. Tumor location and lymph node involvement indicated significant differences between the sexes. Conclusion: Although high risk HPV genotypes have been associated with HNSCCs, our findings indicate a potential of low risk HPV types to also contribute to such malignancies.


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