Human papillomavirus in early laryngeal carcinoma

Jessica L. Baumann, Seth Cohen, Amy N. Evjen, Jonathan H. Law, Sangeetha Vadivelu, Albert Attia, Joshua S. Schindler, Christine H. Chung, Pamela S. Wirth, Chris J.L.M. Meijer, Peter J.F. Snijders, Wendell G. Yarbrough, Robbert J.C. Slebos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


Objectives/Hypothesis: To examine the role of HPV status in the etiology, prognosis, and treatment of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma in early larynx malignancies. Study Design: Retrospective. Methods Thirty-eight cases of T1 or carcinoma in situ (CIS) laryngeal lesions were examined for the presence of human papilloma virus (HPV) using an inclusive polymerase chain reaction (PCR)/hybridiza- tion technique capable of identifying 37 HPV subtypes. Results: HPV DNA was detected in 6 (16%) of the 38 lesions, representing HPV types 16, 26, 31, 39, and 52, and p16 tumor suppres sor protein expression was confirmed in 10 representative cases. This HPV prevalence is higher than that noted in many previous laryngeal cancer studies, possibly due to the relatively large panel of subtypes screened for in this study. Identification of H PV-26, which has been associated with uterine cervical cancer, in an early laryngeal cancer specimen represents the first evidence of this subtype in a laryngeal carcinoma. Consistent with reports focusing on head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) arising from other subsites within the upper aerodigestive tract, patients with HPV-positive laryngeal carcinomas were of younger age and were somewhat less likely to have a history of tobacco use, although the latter of the two findings did not reach stat istical significance. Conclusions Our findings emphasize the presence of a broad spectrum of HPV types in a relevant proportion of early laryngeal cancers, and together with evidence of an association of HPV tumor status with a more favorable clinical course, provide a rationale for the routine HPV testing of small larynx lesions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1531-1537
Number of pages7
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2009


  • Carcinoma in situ
  • Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma
  • Human papilloma virus
  • Larynx carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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