Detection of High Risk Human Papillomavirus DNA Sequences in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma in Iranian Fanconi Anemia Patients

Document Type : Original Article


1 Virology Department, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran

2 Genetics Department, Royan Institute for Reproductive Biomedicine, ACECR, Tehran, Iran

3 Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Objective: Fanconi anemia (FA) is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by congenital malformations, bone marrow failure, development of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and other cancers. Human papillomavirus (HPV) in the oral cavity or oropharynx has been associated with an increased risk of laryngeal papillomatosis, invasive squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (HNSCC) and cervical and other genital cancers. The prevalence of HPV DNA in the oral cavity/oropharynx in FA patients and controls was compared. 
Materials and Methods: A risk factor questionnaire and oral exfoliated cells were collected from FA patients. The study group consisted of 22 FA patients with HNSCC (case subjects) and 24 patients with HNSCC without FA (control subjects). HPV DNA was detected using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and specific primers that covered high risk types of HPV. Moreover, special serological assays were used for the detection of specific antibodies against HPV in patient’s sera.
Results: HPV DNA was detected in 82% of the SCC specimens from the case subjects which was statistically higher (p< 0.05) than the SCC specimens from the control subjects (62.5%). In all cases, the presence of HPV antibodies in patient’s sera has been shown. Among the case subject specimens, 14 cases, and in the control 
subjects, 11 cases were infected by high risk HPV (hr-HPV).
Conclusion: These data confirm that HPV infection, especially with high risk types (16,18), could be one of several risk factors for HNSCC particularly in FA patients.