Several studies emphasize oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) as an entity distinct from oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC). While OSCC commonly affects elderly patients and is related to the use of tobacco and alcohol, OPSCC affects young patients, in close association with human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and has a better prognosis. Data from Brazil show that from 5% to 25% of OPSCCs, and from 10% to 15% of OSCCs, are HPV-positive. Considering the high-risk (HRHPV) and low-risk (LRHPV) HPV profile, which is little known in OPSCC and OSCC, some studies evaluating cervical cancer and pre-malignant lesions show that HPV co-infection may be associated with a lower rate of cervical cancer development, while others show that HPV co-infection increases the risk of cervical cancer. Thus, the identification of the HRHPV and LRHPV genotypes are crucial, especially from a preventive and therapeutic approach. To date, there are no studies evaluating in detail the pattern of viral DNA expression of HRHPV and LRHPV (integrated and/or episomal), in OPSCC and OSCC, which could assist in a better understanding of the closely linked tumorigenic mechanisms with HPV infection in these neoplasms. Thus, the objective of the present study will be to evaluate the HRHPV and LRHPV profiles, in close correlation with viral DNA expression pattern (integrated and/or episomal) by in situ hybridization (ISH) analysis, in OSCC (n=100) and OPSCC (n=100) in a Brazilian population, aiming at prognostic and therapeutic criteria.
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