Verrucous carcinomas of the head and neck, including those with associated squamous cell carcinoma, lack transcriptionally active high-risk human papillomavirus

Kalyani R. Patel, Rebecca D. Chernock, Tian R. Zhang, Xiaowei Wang, Samir K. El-Mofty, James S. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Most oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) and histologic variants harbor transcriptionally active human papillomavirus (HPV). While HPV DNA can be found in many non-oropharyngeal head and neck carcinomas, transcriptionally active HPV is rare. Verrucous carcinoma is a variant with bland cytology, warty appearance, locally destructive growth, and lack of metastasis when lacking a frankly invasive carcinoma component. Studies have shown variable rates of HPV DNA and p16 protein expression in such tumors but still have not clearly addressed if the virus has biological activity or clinical relevance in the positive cases. Department files were searched for verrucous neoplasms, including pure verrucous carcinoma, verrucous carcinoma with dysplasia or minimal invasion, and SCC arising in verrucous carcinoma (ie, having a major component of frankly invasive carcinoma). p16 immunohistochemistry, HPV DNA polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and E6/E7 mRNA reverse transcription PCR for high-risk HPV types were performed. Of the 49 cases, 6 (12.2%) showed strong (>50%) staining for p16. HPV DNA was detected in 7/49 (14.3%) cases, but only one case was positive for both p16, and HPV DNA. A total of 36 cases yielded sufficient RNA for RT-PCR (18 verrucous carcinomas, 13 atypical verrucous carcinomas, and 5 SCC arising in verrucous carcinoma). All 36 were negative, including the four p16-positive and three HPV DNA-positive tumors tested. Although a minority of verrucous carcinoma lesions are p16 and HPV DNA positive, transcriptionally active high-risk HPV is uniformly absent. These findings argue that verrucous carcinoma and its related squamous cell carcinomas are not HPV-driven tumors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2385-2392
Number of pages8
JournalHuman Pathology
Volume44
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2013

Keywords

  • Head and neck
  • Human papillomavirus
  • In situ hybridization
  • Transcriptionally active
  • Verrucous carcinoma
  • p16

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Verrucous carcinomas of the head and neck, including those with associated squamous cell carcinoma, lack transcriptionally active high-risk human papillomavirus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this