Mobile Site ›

HPV and p16 Testing in Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Methodology, Interpretation, and Significance



Interpretation of HPV and p16 Testing in Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Slide 19

March 2012

Interpretation of HPV and p16 Testing in Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma.

Histology is an insufficient predictor of HPV infection. The tumors are classically nonkeratinizing and show well-defined nests or sheets, often with comedo necrosis, that are composed of densely packed tumor cells with little intervening stroma. The cells are basaloid with hyperchromatic nuclei, high nuclear-to-cytoplasmic ratios, and ill-defined cell borders. Mitotic activity is often brisk and cells undergoing apoptosis is not infrequent. These findings are suggestive of HPV infection, but certainly not definitive.

Several HPV detection methods exist, each of them carrying a different sensitivity and specificity profile. If we do not take this into account when we engage in conversations with our clinical colleagues we are liable to create both confusion and frustration. I would argue that understanding the means of HPV detection is more valuable than the detection of HPV itself.

Interpretation of HPV and p16 Testing

 


Jump to section:


Key