The prognostic value of HPV combined p16 status in patients with anal squamous cell carcinoma: a meta-analysis

Guorui Sun, Xiaoyuan Dong _, Xiaolong Tang, Hui Qu, Hao Zhang and Ensheng Zhao

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:8081-8088. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.23545

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Guorui Sun1, Xiaoyuan Dong2, Xiaolong Tang1, Hui Qu1, Hao Zhang1 and Ensheng Zhao1

1Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, Qilu Hospital of Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong, P.R. China

2Department of Hematology, Qilu Hospital of Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong, P.R. China

Correspondence to:

Xiaoyuan Dong, email: [email protected]

Keywords: HPV; p16; anus carcinoma; prognosis; meta-analysis

Received: July 19, 2017     Accepted: December 15, 2017     Published: December 21, 2017


Human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA and p16 expression have been identified to be related to the progression of anal squamous cell carcinoma (ASCC). However, the prognostic relevance of combined detection, particularly HPV-/p16+ and HPV+/p16- signatures, is unknown. A meta-analysis of epidemiologic studies was therefore conducted to address this issue. Data were collected from studies comparing overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) / disease-specific survival (DSS) / relapse-free survival (RFS) / progression-free survival (PFS) in ASCC patients with HPV and p16 status. The electronic databases of MEDLINE and EMBASE were searched from their inception till 31 May 2017. Study-specific risk estimates were pooled using a fixed-effects model for OS and DFS/DSS/RFS/PFS. Four studies involving a total of 398 ASCC cases were included in this meta-analysis. The pooled results showed that HPV+/p16+ cancers were significantly associated with improved OS (HR = 0.30, 95% CI: 0.17–0.51) and DFS/DSS/RFS/PFS (HR = 0.23, 95% CI: 0.14–0.36). However, patients with HPV-/p16+ or HPV+/p16- do not have a comparably good prognosis compared with HPV+/p16+ patients. The meta-analysis indicated that concomitant detection of HPV-DNA and p16 expression may be of prognostic or therapeutic utility in the evaluation of factors contributing to ASCC. Testing tumor specimens for HPV-DNA and p16 expression might indirectly affect treatment decisions.

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