Presence of HPV DNA in convalescent salivary rinses is an adverse prognostic marker in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

Alice Y. Chuang, Tony C. Chuang, Steven Chang, Shaoyu Zhou, Shahnaz Begum, William H. Westra, Patrick K. Ha, Wayne M. Koch, Joseph A. Califano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Human papillomavirus (HPV) 16 is present in up to 60% of patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) and confers a favorable prognosis in terms of recurrence and mortality. Previous reports demonstrated that HPV-16 DNA can be detected in the initial salivary rinses from these patients. In this study, we assessed the feasibility of post-treatment HPV DNA shed from the oral mucosa as a prognostic marker for persistent/recurrent head and neck cancer. Fresh tumor samples and pre- and post-treatment salivary rinses were collected from 59 patients with HNSCC. HPV-16 E6 and E7 DNA copy number in these samples were quantified by real time PCR. Twenty of 59 patients (33.9%) were HPV-16 positive in their tumors before treatment. Four of 20 HPV tumor positive patients ultimately developed recurrence, and two of these four patients were HPV-16 positive in surveillance salivary rinses (sensitivity = 50%). Of the 39 (66.1%) HPV-16 negative patients on initial clinical presentation and the 16 HPV-16 positive patients who did not recur, none were HPV-16 positive in salivary rinses after treatment (specificity = 100%). HPV-16 presence in follow-up salivary rinses preceded clinical detection of disease recurrence by an average of 3.5 months. Patients with presence of HPV-16 DNA in surveillance salivary rinses are at significant risk for recurrence. Quantitative measurement of salivary HPV-16 DNA has promise for surveillance and early detection of recurrence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)915-919
Number of pages5
JournalOral Oncology
Volume44
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2008

Keywords

  • Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC)
  • Human papilloma virus (HPV)
  • Quantitative PCR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oral Surgery
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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