25 April 2016
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the most common malignancy of the oral cavity. A relationship between the human papilloma virus (HPV) infection and the prognosis of oral cavity SCC (OCSCC) has been discussed before.
We investigated the prevalence rate of HPV status in patients with OCSCC, and its effects on clinicopathological characteristics of tumors and patients’ prognosis.
Sections of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue blocks from 114 histopathologically confirmed OCSCC cases were investigated in this study. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was applied to evaluate the HPV status in the samples.
Fifteen (13.16%) cases were identified as HPV positive. The detected viral subtypes in this study were the subtypes 6 and 11. The stage and especially lymph node stage was significantly higher in the HPV positive group compared to the HPV negative group (P = 0.04). Disease free survival (DFS) was remarkably lower in the HPV positive group compared to the HPV negative group (13.9 vs. 49.9 months, P = 0.02). Overall survival (OS) was also significantly inferior in the HPV positive group (15.7 vs. 49.6 months, P = 0.01). In the current study, no significant differences were observed between two groups in relation to the variables of age, gender, tumors site, tumor size, tumor grading and also the recurrence rate.
The observed higher mortality rate among the HPV positive group indicates the poorer prognosis of this group in comparison with the HPV negative patients. The incidence rate of HPV infection was low in the studied samples; however, interaction of subtypes 6 and 11 of HPV in poorer prognosis of the patients and a carcinogenic role of HPV in OCSCC cannot be ruled out.