The Diagnosis of HPV-Related HNSCC: Recognition of Its Microscopic Appearance and the Use of Ancillary Detection Assays

Part of the Head and Neck Cancer Clinics book series (HNCC)


Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the head and neck (HNSCC) has long been regarded as a homogeneous disease entity. Important distinctions between anatomical sites and natural histories have, in large part, been ignored, given the uniformity of histopathology and response to treatment. Recent work suggests considerable differences between some HNSCCs that go beyond variations related to tumour site and stage. In particular, a subset of HNSCC is now known to be associated with HPV [1, 2]. These HPV-related HNSCCs (HPV-HNSCCs) occur more frequently in younger, male patients. They occur most frequently in the oropharynx, and are associated with improved clinical outcomes [3, 4]. In effect, recognition of this HPV association has amounted to the identification of a new and distinct disease entity.


Basaloid Squamous Cell Carcinoma Tonsillar Crypt Sinonasal Carcinoma Desmoplastic Stromal Reaction Diagnostic Pathology Laboratory 
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Copyright information

© Carole Fakhry, Gypsyamber D’Souza, Rehan Kazi and Raghav C. Dwivedi 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PathologyThe Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Pathology, Otolaryngology – Head and Neck SurgeryThe Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA

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