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HPV18 infection found in head and neck cancer

23 April 2014

HPV18 infection found in head and neck cancer

Archival biopsies from head and neck cancer patients confirm frequent infection with highly oncogenic human papillomavirus (HPV), especially HPV18, new research indicates.

Dr Sonia Montenegro from Universidad de Concepción in Chile, who lead the research, said: “Clinicians treating patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma need to know their HPV status because patients with the HPV-related form of the disease have better outcomes than patients without HPV.

According to Medscape Medical News, Dr Montenegro and colleagues analysed archival biopsies taken from 90 patients who had been treated for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.

“Instead of finding a lot of HPV16 in our samples, which most people are finding, we found a lot of HPV18, along with other oncogenic HPV types,” Dr Montenegro reported.

HPV was detected most frequently in cancers in the oral cavity, followed by cancers in the oropharynx and cancers in the hypopharynx. 

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