Clinical Research Papers:

Potential impact of human papilloma virus on survival of basaloid squamous carcinoma of the head and neck

Christian Jacobi _, Isabelle Ayx, Kristin Fritsche, Guido Piontek, Dieter Hoffmann, Gregor Weirich and Andreas Knopf

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:3462-3470. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.3062

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Christian Jacobi1, Isabelle Ayx1, Kristin Fritsche1, Guido Piontek1, Dieter Hoffmann2, Gregor Weirich3 and Andreas Knopf1

1 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Technical University Munich, München, Germany

2 Institute of Virology, Technische Universität and Helmholtz Zentrum München, München, Germany

3 Institute of Pathology, Technical University Munich, München, Germany


Christian Jacobi, email:

Keywords: BSCC, basaloid squamous carcinoma, head and neck, survival, HPV

Received: September 08, 2014 Accepted: December 12, 2014 Published: December 18, 2014


Objectives: Basaloid-squamous-carcinomas (BSCC) have been considered as aggressive variants of common squamous-cell-carcinomas (HNSCC). Recent studies demonstrated a different clinical course depending on the tumour site. The aim of the study is to analyze the histopathologic/clinical features of BSCC/HNSCC resolved by the HPV-status.

Methods: We analysed the histopathologic/clinical features of BSCC (n=59) and HNSCC (n=981), subdivided due to the HPV status. Differences were analysed using Chi square, Fisher exact, and student’s t-test. Survival rates were calculated by Kaplan–Meier and log-rank test. Prognostic variables were subsequently evaluated by Cox regression.

Results: Our cohort was congruent with the literature regarding sex, age, metastases, and a predilection in the oropharynx. HNSCC/BSCC did not show a different disease-specific-survival. After UICC matching, univariate analysis revealed a better survival of UICC stage IVa BSCC compared to HNSCC (69% vs. 42%, p=0.022) that was associated with a better response to radio-chemotherapy (p = 0.009). These results referred to the high prevalence of HPV+ (86%) oropharyngeal BSCC. Subgroup analysis demonstrated a better survival of HPV+ oropharyngeal BSCC than HPV- BSCC (p=0.017).

Conclusion: The clinical outcome in BSCC depends on the tumour site and HPV-status. Prospective studies have to evaluate the beneficial application of postoperative radio-chemotherapy in HPV+ BSCC.

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