Human Papillomavirus E6/E7 mRNA detection by in situ hybridization in oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma

Priscila Marinho Abreu, Isabella Bittencourt Valle, Thabata Coeli Dias Damasceno, Anna Clara Gregório Có, Paola Fernandes Pansini, José Roberto Vasconcelos Podestá, Evandro Duccini Souza, Ricardo Mai Rocha, Maria Paula Curado, Hisham Mehanna, Sandra Ventorin von Zeidler*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the application of in situ hybridization using E6/E7 mRNA probes to identify the frequency of high-risk HPV transcriptionally active and the use of HPV status as a prognostic biomarker in oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma (OCSCC). 

Methods: Ninety-nine OCSCC samples were evaluated from Hospital Santa Rita de Cassia, Hospital Universitário Cassiano Antônio de Moraes and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust. After tissue microarray construction, the slides were submitted to an in situ hybridization detection method for HPV E6/E7 mRNA. HPV status was designated a binary classification. Multiple logistic regression examined the association of HPV with clinical features and other risk factors, using SPSS® software. For all hypothesis tests, a significance level of p ≤ 0.05 was considered. 

Results: HPV frequency in oral squamous cell carcinoma was 8%. There was no association between HPV and clinical variables and between the main prognostic features and known risk factors. There was no difference in the prevalence of HPV for oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma by geography (Brazil vs UK). 

Conclusions: A low frequency of E6/E7 mRNA by RNA in situ hybridization was found in oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma, which supports the evidence that HPV-driven cancer of the oral cavity is uncommon.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104746
JournalArchives of Oral Biology
Early online date7 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


  • Head and neck cancer
  • High risk human papillomavirus
  • HPV-driven cancer
  • RNA in situ hybridization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Dentistry(all)
  • Cell Biology


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