HPV-16 infection modifies overall survival of Puerto Rican HNSCC patients

Bianca Rivera-Peña, Francisco J. Ruíz-Fullana, Germán L. Vélez-Reyes, Rosa J. Rodriguez-Benitez, María J. Marcos-Martínez, Juan Trinidad-Pinedo, Adriana Báez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: HPV-16 modifies the overall survival (OS) of patients with oropharyngeal cancer (OPSCC). HPV-16 has been established as risk factor for OPSCC, but HPV-16 infection may also reside in the larynx and oral cavity. We evaluated HPV-16 status on OS of Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC) patients. Methods: HPV-16 infection was confirmed by amplification of E6 and E7 viral oncogenes through PCR assay and E6 IHC in 185 HNSCC samples. Associations between HPV-16 status and clinicopathological parameters were performed using Fisher's exact test and x2. Survival analysis was completed using Kaplan-Meier estimator and multivariate Cox regression analysis. Results: OS of HPV-16 positive patients was longer compared to HPV-16 negative patients (P = 0.002). HPV-16 positive tumors of the larynx (LSCC) and pharynx (PSCC) showed improved OS compared to HPV-16 negative tumors. Also, HPV-16 positive patients exposed to radiotherapy presented a better survival. Conclusions: HPV-16 status has a positive prognostic value in HNSCC. Addition of HPV-16 status to the TNM staging can provide better assessment in prognosis and guide treatment for HNSCC patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number47
JournalInfectious Agents and Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 24 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research described was supported by the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine Otolaryngology Section, NIH/National Cancer Institute grants P20CA91402, U54CA96297; NIH/National Institute of General Medical Sciences grant S06GM8224. This research also used core facilities supported by NIH/NCRR G12RR03051 and NIH/NIMHDD 8G12MD007600. Additionally, we want to thank Antonio Arrieta, MSII, for the assistance on the statistical part of this study

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The Author(s).


  • Biomarker
  • Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Overall Survival (OS)
  • TNM


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