Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in squamous cell carcinomas arising from the oropharynx: Detection of HPV DNA and p16 immunohistochemistry as diagnostic and prognostic indicators - A pilot study

Francesco Bussu, Michela Sali, Roberto Gallus, Gianluigi Petrone, Gian Franco Zannoni, Rosa Autorino, Nicola Dinapoli, Rosaria Santangelo, Valerio Gaetano Vellone, Cristina Graziani, Francesco Miccichè, Giovanni Almadori, Jacopo Galli, Giovanni Delogu, Maurizio Sanguinetti, Guido Rindi, Massimo Tommasino, Vincenzo Valentini, Gaetano Paludetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose Human papillomavirus (HPV) 16 infection is associated with oropharyngeal carcinogenesis and is likely the cause of the reported increase in disease incidence. We evaluated the prevalence of HPV infection and the reliability of different diagnostic tools using primary tumor samples from a cohort of 50 patients. Methods and Materials Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tumor samples were collected from all 50 consecutive primary oropharyngeal SCC patients who were enrolled in the study; fresh tumor samples were available in 22 cases. NucliSENS EasyQ HPVv1 was used for RNA, and Digene Hybrid Capture-2(HC2) was used for DNA detection. p16 Expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry in FPPE specimens. Results Based on the DNA detection assay on FFPE samples, the frequency of high-risk HPV infection was 32%. The agreement rate between HPV RNA and HPV DNA detection in fresh samples was 100%. The agreement rate between p16 immunohistochemistry (IHC) and the detection of HPV DNA in the FFPE samples was fair but not excellent (κ = 0.618). HPV DNA detection was highly significant, as measured by disease-specific survival and determined using a Wilcoxon test (P=.001). p16 IHC also exhibited a prognostic value but with a lower statistical significance (P=.0475). The detection of HPV DNA, but not p16 IHC, was also significantly correlated with locoregional control (P=.0461). Conclusion Diagnostic methods based on the detection of HPV nucleic acids appear to be more reliable and objective because they do not require reading by a trained histopathologist. Furthermore, the detection of HPV DNA exhibits an improved correlation with survival, and therefore appears definitely more reliable than p16 IHC for routine use in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1115-1120
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Volume89
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiation
  • Cancer Research

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    Bussu, F., Sali, M., Gallus, R., Petrone, G., Zannoni, G. F., Autorino, R., Dinapoli, N., Santangelo, R., Vellone, V. G., Graziani, C., Miccichè, F., Almadori, G., Galli, J., Delogu, G., Sanguinetti, M., Rindi, G., Tommasino, M., Valentini, V., & Paludetti, G. (2014). Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in squamous cell carcinomas arising from the oropharynx: Detection of HPV DNA and p16 immunohistochemistry as diagnostic and prognostic indicators - A pilot study. International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics, 89(5), 1115-1120. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.2014.04.044