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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 56  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 279--280

Papilloma virus infection in oral malignancies: An Italian experience

Sonia Cesaro1, Vassilena Tsvetkova1, Giulia Traverso1, Mauro Cassaro2, Massimo Rugge3,  
1 Department of Medicine (DIMED), Pathology and Cytopathology Unit, University of Padova, Italy
2 Department of Pathology, ULSS 6, Camposampiero Hospital, Italy
3 Department of Medicine (DIMED), Pathology and Cytopathology Unit, University of Padova; Veneto Cancer Registry, Veneto Region, Italy

Correspondence Address:
Massimo Rugge
Department of Medicine (DIMED), Pathology and Cytopathology Unit, University of Padova; Veneto Cancer Registry, Veneto Region

How to cite this article:
Cesaro S, Tsvetkova V, Traverso G, Cassaro M, Rugge M. Papilloma virus infection in oral malignancies: An Italian experience.Indian J Cancer 2019;56:279-280

How to cite this URL:
Cesaro S, Tsvetkova V, Traverso G, Cassaro M, Rugge M. Papilloma virus infection in oral malignancies: An Italian experience. Indian J Cancer [serial online] 2019 [cited 2020 Sep 22 ];56:279-280
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We have read with interest the paper by Rajesh et al.,[1] addressing the prevalence of human papilloma virus (HPV) in Indian patients harboring oral squamous cell cancer (OSCC).

Given our interest in HPV-associated squamous malignancies, we would like to report our experience on HPV status in a consecutive series of 46 Italian OSCC patients assessed histologically at our department in the years 2016–2017. HPV molecular testing was conducted on the microdissected neoplastic lesions obtained from the original (formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded [FFPE]) biopsy samples. Genomic DNA extraction (QIAamp DNA FFPE Tissue Kit; Qiagen, Hilden, Germany) and HPV testing procedures (AMPLIQUALITY HPV-TYPE EXPRESS v3.0; AB ANALITICA) were completed personally by the same expert technician [Sonia Cesaro], according to the manufacturers' recommendations. The method applied identifies 41 HPV genotypes, distinguishing between low-risk (HPV 6, 11, 40, 42, 43, 44, 54, 55, 61, 62, 69, 71, 72, 81, 83, 84, 87, 89, and 90) and high-risk (HPV 16, 18, 26, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 53, 56, 58, 59, 64, 66, 67, 68A, 68B, 70, 73, and 82) genotypes. In the final assessment, HPV-positive status was dichotomized as being due to low-risk versus high-risk genotypes (when high-and low-risk genotypes coexisted, the high-risk genotype was considered “dominant”).[2] Our 46 cases included 30 men and 16 women. Overall, HPV infection was identified in 16/46 (34.8%) cases. Among men, 11/30 OSCCs were HPV-positive (mean age 68 years, range 55–69; mean age of HPV-negative OSCCs 61 years, range 31–86). Among women, 5/16 OSCCs were HPV-positive (mean age 70 years, range 44–93; HPV-negative OSCCs: mean age 68 years, range 45–91). Among the 16/46 HPV-positive OSCCs, 13/16 (81.25%) were associated (or coexisted) with high-risk HPV genotypes (HPV 16, 31, and 66).

The above-mentioned results differ strongly from those reported by Rajesh et al.[1] A main difference concerns the epidemiological settings where patients were recruited:[3] the Indian patients usually came from rural areas and had a low socioeconomic status, while all the Italian patients lived in an industrialized region; and females prevailed significantly [male: female ratio (M:F) 15:45] in the Indian cohort, while males strongly predominated among the Italian patients (M:F 48:30). Another variable that might explain the differences between Indian and Italian OSCC patients' HPV status concerns the HPV testing procedures: in all Italian cases, genomic DNA was obtained for testing after the microscopic identification and manual microdissection of the cancer from the original FFPE tissue sample (a method that may exclude noncancerous tissue from the test procedure).

Even allowing for these differences, however, the surprising discrepancy in HPV status between Indian and Italian OSCC patients should fuel more extensive comparative etiopathogenic studies, which might significantly affect different choices of etiologically targeted prevention strategies.[4],[5],[6]

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


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