Introduction: Assessing the human papillomavirus (HPV) type-specific prevalence in head and neck cancer (HNSCC) is helpful for prediction of HPV vaccine impact.
Objetive: To estimate the overall prevalence, and gender and age-specific prevalence of HPV in HNSCC.
Methods: Cross sectional retrospective survey in 4 pathology laboratories of Medellin Colombia. HPV testing was by GP5+/6+ PCR-based RLB and HPV 16 aqnd 18 type specific PCR.
Results: 175 primary HNSCC cases consecutively diagnosed between 1999 and 2008 with confirmed diagnosis and amplifiable DNA were included. Overal HPV prevalence was 18.9%. HPV was found in 23.9, 17.5 and 13.3% of oral cavity, larynx and oropharinx cases respectively. Among HPV positive cases, 82% were 16 and 18% HPV 18. No other HPV genotypes were identified. The majority of cases were from males. Cases in males were younger than that the cases from females, specially those of the oral cavity.
Conclusions: In cases of Colombia, HPV 16, and 18 genotypes were found in nearly 20% of HNSCC cases. The impact of HPV vaccination for the prevention of HNSCC in this population deserves further evaluation.