Introduction: 5-Year-overall survival is quoted to be significant better in human papillomavirus (hpv) associated head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (hnscc) than in hnscc related to alcohol and tobacco consumption. An explanation for these results could be that adjuvant chemotherapy and radiation are resulting in higher response rates to hnscc with hpv positive carcinogenesis. On the other hand the hallmarks of cancer, including the cancer stem cell (csc) theory could be different in hpv associated hnscc. In the past only few investigations were done in this field of molecular oncology and were set into correlation to the clinical outcome of the patients. To the detection of hpv infection it is mentioned that staining of p16 shows higher signals than other hpv correlated proteins are doing.
Methods: We analysed the expression of the csc markers CD 44, CD 133, CD 49 f, YB-1 and Twist with methods of ICH on a TMA. We did Western Blot on tissues, which were extracted of hpv positive and negative hnscc cell lines. Furthermore we compared the results to hpv negative hnscc cell lines. We set the laboratory results into correlation with the overall survival of the 550 patients, on which the TMA is based. Furthermore we detected hpv in IHC with two different molecular patterns, E7 and p16.
Results: The results showed significant difference between the expression oft the latter mentioned csc markers in hpv positive and negative hnscc. A reduced expression of these markers was found through ICH and WB in hpv positive hnscc. We used Spearman rank correlation and set the p -value on <0.05.
Conclusion: According to the significant different results between hpv positive and negative hnscc we are showing that there is a need to do further research on this subject and to discuss the treatment of hpv postitive hnscc.