Investigation of the presence of HPV related oropharyngeal and oral tongue squamous cell carcinoma in Mozambique

  • J. B
  • L. M
  • M. P
  • et al.
ISSN: 1877-783X
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Background: Cervical cancer caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) is endemic in East Africa. Recent, dramatic, increases in the incidence of oropharyngeal cancer in the United States and Europe are linked to the same high risk HPV genotypes responsible for cervical cancer. Currently, there is extremely limited data regarding the role of HPV in head and neck cancers in Africa. Evidence of HPV as an etiologic agent in head and neck cancers in Africa would have important prevention and treatment implications. Methods: A retrospective single institution review of oral tongue and oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas diagnosed between 2005 and 2013 was performed. Individual case data for 51 patients with biopsy proven squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) from the oropharynx (n=22) and oral tongue (n=29) were identified. Formalin fixed, paraffin embedded biopsy samples were obtained and evaluated for p16 by immunohistochemistry and HPV genotype 16 specific oncogenes, E6 and E7, by PCR. Results: All of the positive controls, but none of the oropharyngeal samples stained positively for p16. Two of the oral tongue samples stained positive for p16. None of the oropharyngeal or oral tongue cases demonstrated PCR products for HPV-16 E6 or E7. Conclusions: Though Mozambique has extremely high levels of HPV positive cervical cancer this study demonstrates an absence of HPV positive oropharyngeal or oral tongue squamous cell carcinoma within biopsy samples from a single referral hospital in Maputo, the capital of Mozambique.




J., B., L., M., M., P., C., C., & B.L., J. (2015). Investigation of the presence of HPV related oropharyngeal and oral tongue squamous cell carcinoma in Mozambique. Cancer Epidemiology, 39(6), 1000–1005. Retrieved from

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