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High frequency of HPV16-associated head and neck squamous cell carcinoma in the Puerto Rican population

Authors

  • Adriana Báez PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery, The University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine, Box 365067, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00936-3067
    2. Department of Pharmacology, The University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine, San Juan, Puerto Rico
    • Adriana Báez, Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, The University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine, Box 365067, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00936-3067
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  • José I. Almodóvar MD,

    1. Department of Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery, The University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine, Box 365067, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00936-3067
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  • Alan Cantor PhD,

    1. Biostatistics and Informatics Core, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida
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  • Frederic Celestin BS,

    1. Department of Pharmacology, The University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine, San Juan, Puerto Rico
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  • Luis Cruz-Cruz BS,

    1. Department of Pharmacology, The University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine, San Juan, Puerto Rico
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  • Sharon Fonseca BS,

    1. Department of Pharmacology, The University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine, San Juan, Puerto Rico
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  • Juan Trinidad-Pinedo MD,

    1. Department of Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery, The University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine, Box 365067, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00936-3067
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  • William Vega MD

    1. Department of Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery, The University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine, Box 365067, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00936-3067
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Abstract

Background.

Recent evidence has accumulated suggesting that human papillomavirus (HPV) plays a role in the development of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). HPV16 is the most common of the HPV subtypes associated with oral and laryngeal malignancies. This study estimated the prevalence of HPV16 DNA in Puerto Rican patients with HNSCC.

Methods.

DNA was extracted from frozen tissue of 118 HNSCCs. Genomic DNA was screened for the presence of HPV16 DNA with E6-specific and E7-specific primers.

Results.

HPV16 was detected in tumor tissue of 52 patients (44%) with HNSCC. The oropharynx had a slightly higher incidence of HPV16 DNA. Fifteen of 66 patients with HPV16-negative HNSCC later had recurrences. Positivity for HPV16 was independent of the tumor grade, tumor stage, nodal status, and tobacco or alcohol use. The 3-year survival rate was higher in HPV16-positive patients than in HPV16-negative patients (36% vs 21%).

Conclusions.

Our findings suggest that HPV16 may play a role in the etiology of a subgroup of HNSCC in Puerto Ricans. Overall survival times of the HPV16-positive patients were not significantly different from those of HPV16-negative patients. Increasing our understanding of the role of HPV16 in the etiology of HNSCC might facilitate the development of new treatment modalities for this subgroup of HNSCC. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck26: 778–784, 2004

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