Human papillomavirus infection is not involved in esophageal verrucous carcinoma

Rocco Cappellesso, Irene Coati, Luisa Barzon, Elektra Peta, Giulia Masi, Marco Scarpa, Cristiano Lanza, Mauro Michelotto, Alberto Ruol, Sonia Cesaro, Carlo Castoro, Giorgio Palù, Gerard J Nuovo, Matteo Fassan, Massimo Rugge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Verrucous carcinoma of the esophagus (VCE) is a rare variant of squamous cell cancer, with a puzzling clinical, etiological, and molecular profile. The etiological involvement of human papillomavirus (HPV) in the cancer's natural history is controversial. This study considers nine cases of VCE, focusing on patients' clinical history before surgery, histological phenotype, immunophenotype (EGFR, E-cadherin, cyclin D1, p16, and p53 expression), HPV infection, and TP53 gene mutational status (exons 5-8). Using three different molecular test methods, not one of these cases of VCE featured HPV infection. The only case with synchronous nodal metastasis was characterized by a TP53 missense point mutation in association with high EGFR and low E-cadherin expression levels. In conclusion, HPV infection is probably not involved VCE, while TP53 gene mutation, EGFR overexpression, and E-cadherin loss might fuel the tumor's proliferation and lend it a metastatic potential.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHuman Pathology
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Nov 10 2018


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