Human Papillomavirus 16 and 18 Infection in Oral Cancer in Thailand: A Multicenter Study

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Oral Biology and Diagnostic Sciences, Faculty of Dentistry, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand.

2 Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand.

3 Department of Stomatology, Faculty of Dentistry, Prince of Songkla University, Songkhla, Thailand.

4 Department of Oral Pathology, Faculty of Dentistry, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.

5 Department of Oral Diagnosis, Faculty of Dentistry, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand.


Objectives: To identify the prevalence of high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) genotypes 16 and 18 among patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) in Thailand and investigate the associations of p16 expression and HPV16/18 with the demographic, clinicopathologic, and risk parameters. Materials and Methods: A total of 403 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded OSCC specimens from four centers in four regions were obtained. p16 expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry. The detection of HPV16/18 DNA was performed by polymerase chain reaction.  Results: Of all, 172 specimens (42.7%) were presented with amplifiable extracted DNA. Among these, 62.8% were positive for p16, 8.1% were positive for HPV16/18, and 5.8% were positive for both methods. Of all HPV-positive specimens, HPV18 was detected in 57.1%; HPV16 in 14.3%; and HPV16 and 18 (co-infection) in 28.6%. The prevalence of HPV16/18 varied between centers, with the highest rate in the northern center (20.0%). There was no significant correlation between p16 expression and HPV16/18. There were no significant associations of p16 expression and/or HPV16/18 with all variables. Conclusions: The prevalence of HPV16/18 infection in OSCC geographically varied in Thailand, with the highest rate in the northern region. Poor correlation between p16 and HPV16/18 suggests p16 not be used as a surrogate marker for HPV-positive OSCC.


Main Subjects

Volume 21, Issue 11
November 2020
Pages 3349-3355
  • Receive Date: 25 July 2020
  • Revise Date: 22 October 2020
  • Accept Date: 24 November 2020
  • First Publish Date: 24 November 2020