Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Human papillomavirus detection in dysplastic and malignant oral verrucous lesions
  1. Angela Stokes1,
  2. Eliete Guerra2,
  3. Jon Bible3,
  4. Eugene Halligan3,
  5. Guy Orchard4,
  6. Edward Odell1,
  7. Selvam Thavaraj1
  1. 1Oral Pathology, Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences, King's College London Dental Institute, London, UK
  2. 2Oral Pathology, Department of Dentistry, Faculty of Health Science, University of Brasilia, Brasilia, Brazil
  3. 3Department of Infection, Virology Section, GSTS Pathology, St Thomas' Hospital, London, UK
  4. 4St John's Institute of Dermatology, GSTS Pathology, St Thomas' Hospital, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Selvam Thavaraj, Oral Pathology, Floor 28, Tower Wing, King's College London Dental Institute, Great Maze Pond, London SE1 9RT, UK; selvam.thavaraj{at}


The role of human papillomaviruses (HPV) in dysplastic and malignant oral verrucous lesions is controversial since there is a wide range in the incidence of virus detection. This study used a multi-tiered method of HPV detection using DNA in-situ hybridisation (ISH) for low- and high-risk subtypes, consensus PCR, and HPV genotype analysis in archival tissue from 20 cases of dysplastic and malignant oral verrucous lesions. The biological significance of HPV DNA detection was assessed by p16 immunohistochemistry (IHC). While 1/7 carcinomas and 5/13 dysplasias contained HPV DNA by consensus PCR and genotype analysis, all specimens were negative for low- and high-risk HPV ISH and negative for p16 IHC. Results show that although high-risk HPV DNA is detectable in a subset of these lesions, the lack of p16 overexpression suggests that the oncogenic process is not driven by HPV oncoproteins.

  • Verrucous
  • squamous cell carcinoma
  • oral
  • dysplasia
  • cancer
  • cancer research
  • HPV
  • head and neck
  • head and neck cancer
  • HPV
  • oral pathology

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval No specific ethics approval required under Guy's & St Thomas' NHS Foundation R&D Department (RJ110/N200).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.