Significance of p16 Positive Expression in Oropharyngeal Cancers

  • Bixofis, Regiane B. (Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Erasto Gaertner Hospital) ;
  • Sassi, Laurindo Moacir (Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Erasto Gaertner Hospital) ;
  • Patussi, Cleverson (Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Erasto Gaertner Hospital) ;
  • Jung, Juliana E. (Department of Pathology, Erasto Gaertner Hospital) ;
  • Ioshii, Sergio O. (Department of Pathology, Erasto Gaertner Hospital) ;
  • Schussel, Juliana L. (Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Erasto Gaertner Hospital)
  • Published : 2015.01.06


Background: The involvement of HPV in oral and oropharyngeal carcinogenesis was first proposed in 2004, based on epithelial HPV tropism and detection of HPV genotypes in oral squamous cell carcinoma samples. While 60-70% of oropharynx tumors may be HPV-positive, only 10 to 19% of tumors of the oral cavity, larynx and hypopharynx appear to have HPV infection. The aim of the study was to evaluate HPV infection associated with oropharyngeal cancer. Materials and Methods: Seventy-eight cases were selected for p16 immunoexpression reactions, and demographic data were collected for comparisons. Results: Most patients were over 60 years old, and 64.1% were smokers. Immunohistochemistry results showed that 86.3% of cases stained positive for p16 protein. Conclusion: The oropharyngeal cancer profile at Erasto Gaertner Hospital presented a high index of smokers over 60 years as well a high number of p16+ tumors, for what we can not determinate the main etiologic factor, but can be aware of the number of patients that presented HPV infection. Since prevention is still the best way to deal with cancer disease, it is important to analyze the interaction of these two etiologic factors and how to detect lesions at an early stage.


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