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      The Prevalence of Human Papilloma Virus in Squamous Cell Carcinoma of Oral Tongue

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          Background and objective:

          Oral tongue Squamous Cell carcinoma (SCC) commonly involves males between the sixth to eighth decades of life. Major risk factors are tobacco usage and alcohol consumption. The increasing number of patients developing oral tongue cancer without these well-known risk factors suggests that a viral infection, such as Human Papillomavirus (HPV), may be responsible for this increase, by acting as an oncogenic agent. This study investigated the prevalence of HPV infection and its clinicopathologic significance in oral tongue SCCs.


          Tissue blocks from a total of 50 cases (patients with oral tongue SCC) and 50 controls (palatine tonsillar tissues with benign diagnosis) were selected. DNA was extracted from tumoral and non-tumoral tissue blocks. Detection of common HPV DNA by nested Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), and high-risk genotypes, HPV 16 and HPV 18, by conventional PCR, was achieved and the results correlated with clinicopathological parameters.


          Of the 50 patients (18 males and 32 females with a mean age of 57.36±12.18 years, and age range of 27 to 86 years), 7 (14%) had HPV positive results. None of the control group subjects had HPV DNA positive results (P-value of 0.012). The HPV genotype 16/18 was not detected in positive cases. No statistically significant association was found between HPV status and gender, age, tumor grade, tumor stage or lymph node involvement.


          Although there was a significantly higher prevalence of HPV in oral tongue SCC, its association with carcinogenesis in this area requires further studies.

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          Most cited references 18

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          Prognostic factors in tongue cancer – relative importance of demographic, clinical and histopathological factors

          The incidence of and mortality from squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the tongue have increased during the recent decades in the Western world. Much effort has been made to predict tumour behaviour, but we still lack specific prognostic indicators. The aim of our study was to evaluate the relative importance of the known demographic, clinical and histological factors in a homogeneous population-based group of patients with SCC of the mobile tongue. The demographic and clinical factors were reviewed retrospectively from primary and tertiary care patient files. Histological prognostic factors were determined from pre-treatment biopsies. The TNM stage was found to be the most important prognostic factor. In particular, local spread outside the tongue rather than spread to regional lymph nodes was related to poor prognosis. Several demographic and histopathological factors were closely related to TNM stage. When the cases were divided into stage I–II carcinomas and stage III–IV carcinomas, it appeared that the patient’s older age (> 65 years), a high malignancy score and an absence of overexpressed p53 protein were associated with a poorer prognosis in stage I–II carcinomas. Such cases may require more aggressive treatment. Among patients with stage III–IV carcinomas, heavy use of alcohol was significantly associated with a poor disease-specific survival time. © 2000 Cancer Research Campaign
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            Human papillomavirus is more common in base of tongue than in mobile tongue cancer and is a favorable prognostic factor in base of tongue cancer patients.

            The frequency of human papilloma virus (HPV) and its influence on clinical outcome was analyzed retrospectively in pre-treatment paraffin embedded biopsies from 110 patients with tongue cancer. The presence of HPV DNA was examined in 85 mobile tongue tumors and 25 base of tongue tumors by a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with 2 general primer pairs, GP5+/6+ and CPI/IIG. When HPV-DNA was found, HPV-type specific primers and direct sequencing were used for HPV sub-type verification. Twelve of 110 (10.9%) samples were HPV-positive; 9 for HPV-16, 1 for HPV-33, 1 for HPV-35 and 1 could not be analyzed because of shortage of DNA. HPV was significantly more common in base of tongue tumors (10/25, 40.0%) compared to tumors of the mobile tongue (2/85, 2.3%). The influence of HPV on clinical outcome in mobile tongue cancer could not be studied, due to that HPV was present in too few cases. Of the 19 patients with base of tongue cancer that were included in the survival analysis, however, 7 patients with HPV-positive base of tongue cancer had a significantly favorable 5-year survival rate compared to the 12 HPV-negative patients. In conclusion, HPV is significantly more common in base of tongue cancer than in mobile tongue cancer, and has a positive impact on disease-specific survival in patients with base of tongue cancer. (c) 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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              Human papillomavirus (HPV) in head and neck cancer


                Author and article information

                [1 ] Pathology Department, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
                [2 ] Otolaryngology Department, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
                [3 ] Transplant Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding Information: Negar Azarpira MD, Transplant Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran, Tell 0098 713 647 3954, Email:
                Iran J Pathol
                Iran J Pathol
                Iranian Journal of Pathology
                Iranian Society of Pathology (Tehran, Iran )
                Spring 2017
                1 April 2017
                : 12
                : 2
                : 144-149
                5831070 ijp-12-144
                © 2017, IRANIAN JOURNAL OF PATHOLOGY.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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