3 years ago

Comparison of detection methods for HPV status as a prognostic marker for loco-regional control after radiochemotherapy in patients with HNSCC

To compare six HPV detection methods in pre-treatment FFPE tumour samples from patients with locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) who received postoperative (N = 175) or primary (N = 90) radiochemotherapy. Materials and methods HPV analyses included detection of (i) HPV16 E6/E7 RNA, (ii) HPV16 DNA (PCR-based arrays, A-PCR), (iii) HPV DNA (GP5+/GP6+ qPCR, (GP-PCR)), (iv) p16 (immunohistochemistry, p16 IHC), (v) combining p16 IHC and the A-PCR result and (vi) combining p16 IHC and the GP-PCR result. Differences between HPV positive and negative subgroups were evaluated for the primary endpoint loco-regional control (LRC) using Cox regression. Results Correlation between the HPV detection methods was high (chi-squared test, p < 0.001). While p16 IHC analysis resulted in several false positive classifications, A-PCR, GP-PCR and the combination of p16 IHC and A-PCR or GP-PCR led to results comparable to RNA analysis. In both cohorts, Cox regression analyses revealed significantly prolonged LRC for patients with HPV positive tumours irrespective of the detection method. Conclusions The most stringent classification was obtained by detection of HPV16 RNA, or combining p16 IHC with A-PCR or GP-PCR. This approach revealed the lowest rate of recurrence in patients with tumours classified as HPV positive and therefore appears most suited for patient stratification in HPV-based clinical studies.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0167814017327627

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