Background: Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is potentially curable, but treatment planning remains a challenge. Oncogenic human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive disease is often associated with a good prognosis compared with HPV-negative disease. However, some HPV-positive HNSCC recurs, often with distant metastases and significant treatment resistance. Methods and Results: We performed p16 immunohistochemistry (IHC), in situ hybridization (ISH) for high-risk HPV, and comprehensive genomic profiling on oropharyngeal HNSCC with basaloid features and particularly aggressive disease course, noting a rare genetic event: a deleting mutation (exons 5–17) of the tumor suppressor and dominant cell cycle regulator retinoblastoma 1 (RB1). Genomic and transcriptomic data available through FoundationOne and The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) were reviewed for additional HNSCC cases with RB1 alterations. Conclusion: RB1 alterations may have important prognostic implications, particularly in the context of high p16 expression, in both HPV-positive and HPV-negative HNSCC.
- The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA)
- head and neck squamous cell carcinoma
- human papillomavirus
- retinoblastoma 1 (RB1)
ASJC Scopus subject areas