Several investigations have reported that the human papillomavirus may play a role in head and neck squamous-cell carcinoma development and may have a prognostic impact. However, inconsistent results regarding human papillomavirus prevalence have been obtained so far. Variables which may account for these discrepancies may be related to site of the samples' origin, detection methods and sample size. The aim of this study is to evaluate the presence of high-risk type human papillomavirus in a large, well defined sample of squamous-cell carcinoma limited to the oral cavity in its strictest definition - ie with no pharynx or larynx cancers included - by means of quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, a method which ensures high sensitivity and offers the opportunity to exclude false-positive results. Data were obtained from 314 squamous-cell carcinoma limited to oral cavity proper, indicated that the prevalence of high-risk human papillomavirus was as low as 2% (CI 0.6-3). Matched pairs case-control analysis indicated that the prevalence among controls did not significantly differ with respect to cases and thus did not support a major role for the human papillomavirus in the etiology of squamous-cell carcinoma of the oral cavity.
- Human papillomavirus
- Oral cavity
- Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction
- Squamous-cell carcinoma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine