Methods and Materials: HPV and EBV DNA, EBV genotypes and LMP-1 variants, and HPV mRNA expression were detected by PCR from fresh-frozen HNC samples. HPV genotypes were determined by direct sequencing, and EBV encoded RNA (EBER) was examined by in situ hybridization. Results: Of the 209 HNC patients, 63 (30.1%) had HPV infection, and HPV-16 was the most common subtype (86.9%). HPV E6/E7 mRNA expression was found in 23 of 60 (38.3%) HPV DNA-positive cases detected. The site of highest prevalence of HPV was the oropharynx (45.9%). Among 146 (69.9%) HNCs in which EBV DNA was identified, 107 (73.3%) and 27 (18.5%) contained types A and B, respectively, and 124 (84.9%) showed the existence of del-LMP-1. However, only 13 (6.2%) HNCs were positive for EBER, 12 (92.3%) of which derived from the nasopharynx. Co-infection of HPV and EBER was found in only 1.0% of HNCs and 10.0% of NPCs. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis showed significantly better disease-specific and overall survival in the HPV DNA+/mRNA+ oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPC) patients than in the other OPC patients (P = 0.027 and 0.017, respectively). Multivariate analysis showed that stage T1-3 (P = 0.002) and HPV mRNA-positive status (P = 0.061) independently predicted better disease-specific survival. No significant difference in disease-specific survival was found between the EBER-positive and-negative NPC patients (P = 0.155). Conclusions: Our findings indicate that co-infection with HPV and EBV is rare in HNC. Oropharyngeal SCC with active HPV infection was related to a highly favorable outcome, while EBV status was not prognostic in the NPC cohort. Objective: To investigate the prevalence, genotypes, and prognostic values of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and human papillomavirus (HPV) infections in Japanese patients with different types of head and neck cancer (HNC).
Deng, Z., Uehara, T., Maeda, H., Hasegawa, M., Matayoshi, S., Kiyuna, A., … Suzuki, M. (2014). Epstein-Barr virus and human papillomavirus infections and genotype distribution in head and neck cancers. PLoS ONE, 9(11). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0113702