More research points to link between HPV, oral cancer

High-risk genotypes of human papillomavirus (HPV) can be a contributing factor to oral carcinogenesis, especially in younger individuals without known risk factors such as tobacco and alcohol, according to a new study in Oral Diseases (January 14, 2013).

The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of HPV in a group of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) cases and controls in a Mexican population.

The matched case-control study included 80 OSCC cases and 320 controls. The researchers evaluated HPV/DNA presence through polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification using three sets of consensus primers for the L1 gene.

Using a conditional logistics regression model, the study authors detected an association between high-risk HPV and OSCC, with HPV (16, 18, 56) prevalent in 5% of the OSCC cases compared with 2.5% of the controls.

All high-risk HPV-positive OSCC cases corresponded to patients younger than 45 who were nonsmokers and nonalcohol drinkers, the researchers noted.

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