Background: Human papilloma virus (HPV) has been implicated in the carcinogenesis and prognosis of certain head and neck cancers. Whether it also has a role in the pathogenesis of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) in Taiwan is unclear. Methods: Detection and genotyping of HPVs were performed in 43 primary NPCs (one WHO-I and 42 WHO-II/III) and 40 nasopharyngeal controls using PCR-based HPV genotyping arrays. Localisation of high-risk HPV and Epstein-Barr virus genomes was performed in another 46 primary NPCs (five WHO-I and 41 WHO-II/III) and seven paired metastatic WHO-II/III NPCs using in situ hybridisation. Results: In the HPV genotyping cohort, oncogenic HPVs were detected equally in WHO-II/III NPCs (31%, 13/42) and nasopharyngeal controls (35%, 14/40). Tumour high-risk HPV status did not correlate with the prognosis of patients with NPC. In the high-risk HPV in situ hybridisation cohort, 14 (88%) of the 16 oncogenic HPV-positive WHO-II/III NPCs showed a unique cytoplasmic/perinuclear staining pattern, which is distinct from the typical dot/punctate nuclear staining pattern indicating HPV genome integration. In addition, oncogenic HPVs were not always retained in NPC cells during the process of metastasis. Conclusions: This study does not support an association between oncogenic HPV and the carcinogenesis or prognosis of WHO-II/III NPCs in Taiwan.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine