PURPOSE: Squamous cell carcinoma metastasis of the head and neck with unknown primary tumor (CUP) comprises a diagnostic challenge. Human papillomavirus (HPV) testing on cytologic specimens is gaining increasing focus as this may facilitate an early diagnosis of HPV-induced oropharyngeal carcinoma. This study aimed to prospectively assess PCR-based HPV-DNA testing on FNA smears in a clinical setting.
METHODS: Patients referred to a tertiary Head and Neck Cancer Center with suspected CUP were included from November 2016 to November 2018. Scraped cell material from FNA smears was analyzed for HPV-DNA with PCR using general primers (GP5 + /GP6 +) and correlated with the origin and histology of the primary tumor (oropharynx vs. outside oropharynx or benign tumor). The turn-around time reflecting the workflow for HPV-DNA testing by PCR was also calculated.
RESULTS: A total of 93 patients were enrolled in the study. The sensitivity and specificity were 86.7% [95% CI 75.4-94.1%] and 92.0% [95% CI 74.0-99.0%], and the positive and negative predictive values were 96.3% [95% CI 87.3-99.0%] and 74.2% [95% CI 59.9-84.7%], respectively. The turn-around time for HPV testing was a mean four calendar days.
CONCLUSION: HPV-DNA testing on FNA smears can be performed within a reasonable timeframe and can guide for the detection of an HPV-positive oropharyngeal primary tumor in the clinical setting for patients presenting with CUP of the head and neck.
|Journal||European archives of oto-rhino-laryngology : official journal of the European Federation of Oto-Rhino-Laryngological Societies (EUFOS) : affiliated with the German Society for Oto-Rhino-Laryngology - Head and Neck Surgery|
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 2022|
- Fine-needle aspiration
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)
- Oropharyngeal cancer
- Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
- Squamous cell carcinoma