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Incidence of tonsillar cancer in northern Sweden: Impact of human papilloma virus
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Otorhinolaryngology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Otorhinolaryngology. Department of Surgical Sciences, Division of Otorhinolaryngology, Uppsala University.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences, Oncology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences, Oncology.
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2015 (English)In: Oncology Letters, ISSN 1792-1074, E-ISSN 1792-1082, Vol. 10, no 6, 3565-3572 p.Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
Abstract [en]

The incidence rate of tonsillar cancer is increasing worldwide. The current study identifies a parallel increase in the incidence of tonsillar cancer, human papilloma virus (HPV) and p16 expression among a population from northern Sweden, a sparsely populated area, confirming the strong association between p16 and HPV infection in tonsillar tissue. Data from the Swedish Cancer Registry was assessed to identify cases of tonsillar cancer in the northern territorial area of Sweden. HPV DNA was extracted from paraffin embedded diagnostic biopsies and detected by polymerase chain reaction using general primers Gp5+/6+ and CpI/IIG. Expression of p16 was identified by immunochemistry. Patients were grouped into urban or rural residence categories. A total of 214 cases were identified, comprising 155 (72.4%) men and 59 (27.6%) women, and 65 of these patients, who presented between 2000 and 2012, were analyzed. The overall median age for the analyzed patients was 58 years; 48 (74%) were males (median age, 57.5 years) and 17 (26%) were females (median age, 65 years). Of the 65 specimens, 59 (91%) were positive for HPV, and 62 (95%) expressed p16. The incidence of tonsillar cancer in the cohort demonstrated a 2-fold increase between 1990 and 2013; specifically, a 2.7-fold increase was observed in men whilst the female group exhibited only a small increase. These findings demonstrate a strong association between p16 expression and HPV infection in tonsillar malignancies. The incidence of HPV-positive tonsillar cancer has increased in recent years, even in sparsely populated regions, as demonstrated in northern Sweden.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Spandidos Publications , 2015. Vol. 10, no 6, 3565-3572 p.
Keyword [en]
head and neck cancer, human papilloma virus, immunohistochemistry, incidence, p16, tonsillar cancer
National Category
Cancer and Oncology Otorhinolaryngology
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-114586DOI: 10.3892/ol.2015.3775ISI: 000367232600038OAI: diva2:903586
Available from: 2016-02-16 Created: 2016-01-25 Last updated: 2016-08-25Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Human papillomavirus in recurrent respiratory papillomatosis, tonsillar and mobile tongue cancer
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Human papillomavirus in recurrent respiratory papillomatosis, tonsillar and mobile tongue cancer
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis focuses on the effects of the human papillomavirus (HPV) in tonsillar cancer, mobile tongue cancer, and recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP). The purpose was to characterize patients with RRP in northern Sweden in order to identify more care-intensive RRP patients and to describe the voice and quality of life aspects that follow RRP. Further aims were to confirm the expected increase of HPV-positive tonsillar cancer cases in northern Sweden, and to study the correlation between HPV, its surrogate marker p16 and HPV receptor syndecan-1 in both tonsillar cancer and mobile tongue cancer.

A total of 27 consecutive patients with RRP were evaluated at 3 months postoperatively using the voice handicap index (VHI) and SF-36 questionnaires to assess the impact on life and voice in a RRP population. The values were compared to normative data. This report was further extended by examining consecutive data from 21 new patients in order to characterize RRP patients in northern Sweden. In order to study HPV DNA in tonsillar (n= 65) and mobile tongue cancer (n=109), HPV DNA was extracted from paraffin-embedded biopsies and detected by polymerase chain reaction using general primers Gp5+/6+ and CpI/IIG. Expression of HPV surrogate marker p16 and the HPV receptor syndecan-1 was analysed by immunohistochemistry.

Patients that underwent more than one RRP surgery per year were younger than those treated less frequently and they had significantly impaired voice quality as compared to normal subjects. Females, patients with frequent surgical treatment sessions, and patients with the high-risk HPV subtypes scored significantly lower in several domains of the quality of life assessment as compared with normal subjects. Forty-eight RRP patients had a median age of 44.5 years; 71% were men and 29% females, preferentially infected with HPV6. Patients with high surgical treatment frequency/year showed more widespread RRP in the larynx compared to the patients treated less frequently.

A total of 214 tonsillar cancer cases were identified. The vast majority were men. They had a median age of 58 years at diagnosis and expressed HPV as well as p16. The incidence of tonsillar cancer revealed a 2,7-fold increase in men between the years 1990 and 2013. The study demonstrates a strong association between p16 and HPV infection in tonsillar malignancies. These findings are in contrast to the mobile tongue cancer cases, where no evidence of HPV DNA could be detected although one-third showed p16 staining. This demonstrated a poor correlation between HPV and p16 in mobile tongue cancer. There was no difference in the expression of the primary HPV receptor, syndecan-1, between tonsillar and mobile tongue cancer.

In conclusion, the frequency of RRP operations, age at onset, gender and subtype of the HPV may be used as factors to predict voice disability. RRP patients with high surgical treatment frequency were significantly younger and had a more widespread laryngeal disease compared to the low-frequency treated group. This study confirms the existence of a clinical RRP group, not primarily related to HPV subtype, but to a more care-intensive RRP population. Our findings identify a 2,7-fold increase in the incidence of tonsillar cancer, HPV and p16 in men between 1990-2013. We can use p16 to detect HPV in tonsillar cancer but not in tongue cancer.

The introduction of vaccination against HPV may have a role in the prevention of specific HPV-subtype positive head and neck malignancies and recurrent respiratory papillomatosis since the current vaccine protects against HPV6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52 and 58. Males will definitely benefit indirectly from vaccination of females, though males will still remain at risk of cancers associated with HPV. This highlights the need for sex-neutral vaccination strategy. Our intention is that this thesis will provide scientific data to support a gender-neutral vaccination and to develop simple tools to detect HPV in tonsillar cancer.

Abstract [sv]

Syftet med avhandlingen är att beskriva effekterna av humant papillomvirus (HPV) vid cancer i halsmandlarna, cancer i tungan och vid luftvägspapillom.

Totalt 27 patienter med luftvägspapillom (RRP) under åren 2004-2012 utvärderades 3 månader efter operationen med röst handikapp index (VHI) och livskvalitetformuläret SF-36. Resultaten jämfördes med normal data. Studiematerialet utökades med 21 patienter till totalt 48 RRP patienter i syfte att karakterisera patientgruppen i norra Sverige. För att studera HPV-DNA i tonsillcancer (n = 65) och i cancer i mobil del av tungan (n = 109) extraherades HPV-DNA från paraffininbäddade provbitar som sedan analyserades med PCR teknik och GP5 + / 6 + och CPI/IIG primer. Uttryck av surrogatmarkör p16 och HPV-receptorn syndekan -1 analyserades med immunhistokemi.

RRP patienter hade en medianålder på 44,5 år; 71% var män och 29% kvinnor, företrädesvis infekterade med HPV6. Patienter som opererades mer än en gång per år var yngre än de som behandlats mindre ofta och hade en statistiskt sämre röstkvalitet än friska kontroller. Kvinnor, patienter med täta kirurgiska behandlingsintervall och högrisk-HPV hade signifikant sämre livskvalitet jämfört med friska kontroller. Patienter med hög kirurgisk behandlingsfrekvens per år var signifikant yngre och hade mer utbredd RRP sjukdom i luftstrupen, jämfört med gruppen med låg behandlingsfrekvens.

Sammanlagt, 214 fall av halsmandelscancer identifierades i norra Sverige under åren 1990-2013; majoriteten var män, med en medianålder på 58 år och positiva för både HPV och p16. Andelen halsmandelscancer fall ökade med 2,7 gånger bland männen på 23 år. Vi fann ett starkt samband mellan uttryck av p16 och HPV infektion i halsmandelscancer men inte i HPV-negativ, delvis p16-positiv (33%) mobil tungcancer. Det fanns ingen skillnad i uttrycket av den primära HPV-receptorn, syndekan -1, jämförande tung-, och halsmandelscancer.

Antalet RRP operationer, ålder vid insjuknandet, kön och genetisk variant av HPV kan användas som indikatorer för att förutsäga grad av röststörning. RRP patienter med hög kirurgisk behandlingsfrekvens var signifikant yngre och hade en mer utbredd luftvägssjukdom jämfört med RRP patienter som behandlas mindre ofta. Vi har identifierat en undergrupp av RRP patienter som inte primärt karakteriseras efter HPV virusets genetik utan av ett mer vårdintensivt förlopp. Den aktuella avhandlingen har identifierat en 2,7-faldig ökning av antalet halsmandelscancer hos män och ett starkt samband mellan p16 och HPV infektion i halsmandlar men inte i HPV-negativ tungcancer som inte korrelerar till p16 uttryck. Vi kan använda p16 för att påvisa HPV i tonsillcancer men inte i cancer i mobil tunga.

Idag ingår HPV vaccination i det allmänna vaccinationsprogrammet för flickor. Vi förväntar oss en tydlig profylaktisk effekt avseende insjuknande i HPV-relaterad huvud- och hals cancer samt luftvägspapillom eftersom vaccinet skyddar mot HPV bl.a. 6, 11, 16 och 18. Män kommer definitivt att gynnas indirekt genom vaccination av kvinnor men kommer att ha fortsatt högre risk än kvinnor att insjukna i HPV relaterad cancer vilket understryker behovet av könsneutral vaccination. Vår avsikt med avhandlingen är att ge vetenskapligt stöd för könsneutralt vaccination och enkla metoder att påvisa halsmandelscancer.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå Universitet, 2016. 79 p.
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1790
Human papillomavirus, recurrent respiratory papillomatosis tonsillar cancer, mobile tongue cancer, voice-, and quality of life, p16, syndecan-1, northern Sweden
National Category
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-124792 (URN)978-91-7601-509-4 (ISBN)
External cooperation:
Public defence
2016-10-21, Föreläsningssalen ÖNH, by 1B plan 3, Norrlands universitetssjukhus, Umeå, 09:00 (English)
Available from: 2016-08-30 Created: 2016-08-25 Last updated: 2016-08-30Bibliographically approved

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