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Introduction. Since HPV (+) and (-) tumors have different prognosis and treatment sensitivity, it is extremely important to determine the HPV status in oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma before treatment initiation. Study aim. To assess the potential of the cytological method in the diagnosis of HPV-associated oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma.
Material and methods. The paper presents the results of the cytological testing for HPV infection in 58 tumor samples obtained from the patients diagnosed with oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma who were treated in the in-patient department of the P.A. Hertsen Moscow Oncology Research Institute from 2016 to 2020. HPV infection status was determined using the methods of conventional cytology, liquid cytology, PCR, and immunocytochemistry.
Results. The PCR testing has detected HPV in 6 (10%) of 58 patients with oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma. HPV type 16 was found in 5 patients, and HPV type 18 – in 1 patient. Immunocytochemically, p16 expression was detected in 18 (31%) patients.
Conclusion. Immunocytochemical determination of p16 expression may be recommended for the diagnosis of HPV-associated oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma, especially in cases with lymph node metastases. Key words: squamous cell carcinoma, HPV, lymph node, metastatic cancer of unknown primary site, HPV- associated cancer, PCR, liquid-based cytology, oropharyngeal cancer
Funding. There was no funding for this study.