Background: Human papillomaviruses are associated with invasive cancers in the cervical, anogenital, and oropharyngeal areas. Persistent HPV infections, particularly with high-risk HPV such as HPV 16, are involved in the carcinogenesis of a subset of oropharyngeal cancers.
The majority of published studies on HPV prevalence in these tumors concentrated on identifying high-risk mucosal types.
Objectives: To determine the HPV type specific prevalence in different samples collected from the oral cavity of three groups of patients: (A) healthy (n = 25); (B) non-malignant lesions (n = 47); and (C) cancers (n = 78).
Study design: To evaluate the prevalence of HPV genotypes in the oral cavity, samples were analyzed by PCR with: MY09/MY11 followed by GP5+/GP6+, CP65/CP70 followed by CP66/CP69, and FAP59/FAP64 primers. The presence of viral transcripts was ascertained by RT-PCR with specific primers for the E7 region.
Results: Mucosal HPV types were associated with the presence of cancers. This trend was statistically significant if the analysis was performed for HPV 16 (p = 0.04), which is the most prevalent type detected in oropharyngeal cancers. Conversely, cutaneous HPVs were associated with non-malignant lesions (p = 0.007). The multiple correspondence analysis confirmed these data. Viral transcripts of only mucosal HPVs were detected in non-malignant lesions and cancers.
Conclusions: Different types of HPVs infect the oral epithelium, but only the mucosal types, particularly HPV 16, are clearly associated with tumors. The discovery that cutaneous HPVs are associated with potential malignant oral disorders brings other data to understand the significance of their presence in the oral cavity.
Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are implicated in the etiology of invasive cancers in the cervical, anogenital, and oropharyngeal areas.1,2 HPV types are clustered in different genera; in partic- ular, alpha-papillomavirus ( -HPV) mostly isolated from genital lesions, also known as mucosal HPV, and beta- ( -HPV) or gamma- papillomavirus ( -HPV) isolated from skin lesions, also called cutaneous HPV.3,4 Persistent high-risk HPV infections, particularly by HPV 16, are associated with a subset of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (HNSCC).2,5,6 The majority of published studies
∗ Corresponding author at: Laboratory of Virology, Regina Elena National Cancer Institute CRS, Via delle Messi d’Oro 156, 00158 Rome, Italy. Tel.: +39 0652662521; fax: +39 0652662520.
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© 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.