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Keywords:

  • Fanconi anemia;
  • dyskeratosis congenita;
  • squamous cell carcinoma;
  • human papillomavirus

Patients with Fanconi anemia (FA) and dyskeratosis congenita (DC) are at high risk of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) and anogenital squamous cell carcinomas (SCC). In the general population, these sites (particularly oropharyngeal SCC) may be associated with infection with human papillomavirus (HPV). In FA and DC, however, the majority of HNSCC occur in the oral cavity. We investigated the HPV status of HNSCC and vulvar SCC from nine patients with FA and four with DC using a very sensitive PCR assay, and found HPV16 DNA in only a single vulvar tumor from one patient with FA, and in none of the HNSCC. These results suggest that HPV may not be the cause of SCC in patients with FA or DC, and that vaccination may not reduce the incidence of HNSCC in these patients.