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    Keywords: CANCER ; CELLS ; EXPRESSION ; carcinoma ; Germany ; human ; PATIENT ; DNA ; INFECTION ; papillomavirus ; ASSOCIATION ; PROGRESSION ; CERVICAL-CANCER ; human papillomavirus ; HUMAN-PAPILLOMAVIRUS ; SQUAMOUS-CELL CARCINOMA ; HEAD ; INVOLVEMENT ; MICROMETASTASES ; NECK ; squamous cell carcinoma ; PREVALENCE ; CYCLE CONTROL ; head and neck squamous cell carcinoma ; LYMPH-NODE ; SPECIMENS ; histologically confirmed tumour-free neck lymph nodes ; neck metastasis
    Abstract: Background: Human papillomavirus (HPV) has been demonstrated in lymph node neck metastases (NM) of HPV-positive squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck (HNSCC), underscoring the possible role of HPV for HNSCC progression. Reports on HPV infections in histopathologically tumour-free lymph-nodes of the SCC of the uterine cervix developing higher rates of lymph-node metastases and recurrences later in the survey of the patients was the starting point of the present study. Materials and Methods: The presence of HPV-DNA in primary tumours (PT, n = 45), NM (n =45) and histologically confirmed tumour-free neck lymph-nodes (LN, n = 102) of HNSCC from 60 patients was analysed by PCR and Southern blot hybridisation. Results: A highly positive correlation of simultaneous HPV-DNA detection in PT and NM was demonstrated. In the case of HPV-positivity of PT and/or NM [24/60 cases (40%)], 11/24 (45.8%) LN contained HPV-DNA, as well. Accepting HPV demonstration as a marker for the presence of micro-metastasis, HPV analysis would result in an upstaging of the N category in 4 out of these 11 patients. Conclusion: Considering the high agreement of HPV-DNA detection in PT and simultaneous HPV-DNA demonstration in the draining NM corroborating the monoclonal character of the tumour cells, the HPV-DNA presence in LN seems to be indicative of micro-metastasis in these lymph nodes. Thus, HPV analysis might be another powerful tool for the definition of the N-status of HPV-positive HNSCC
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 16739336
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