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HPV, periodontitis work in tandem to increase risk of tongue cancer
Date:4/4/2008

and support the teeth, via X-ray.

Tumor status was identified from paraffin-embedded tumor samples analyzed by polymerase chain reaction. Analysis concentrated on the presence of tumors containing the DNA of two of the most common types of HPV virus associated with oropharyngeal cancers, HPV-16 and HPV- 18.

Results showed that 63 percent, or 19 out of 30 patients, had tumors that were positive for HPV-16 DNA; none of the tumor samples were found to contain HPV-18 DNA. In addition, 90 percent of patients with tumors positive for HPV had periodontitis, and 79 percent of patients whose tumors showed no presence of HPV did not have periodontitis.

HPV infection is a necessary, but not sufficient, cause of head and neck cancer, said Tezal. Although the majority of the population is infected with HPV at least once in their lives, most infections are cleared rapidly by the immune system and do not result in pathology.

Persistence of HPV infection is the strongest risk factor for carcinogenesis, she said. Thus, the identification of factors that influence the persistence of HPV infection is critical to facilitate efforts to prevent head and neck cancers. This study implicates that chronic inflammation and co-infection with oral bacteria may be significant factors in the natural history of HPV infection.


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Contact: Lois Baker
ljbaker@buffalo.edu
716-645-5000 x1417
University at Buffalo
Source:Eurekalert

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