Conclusion. Our results indicate that viral load may serve as an independent prognostic indicator for patients with HPV-16-associated squamous cell carcinoma of the tonsil. Objective. HPV-16 has gained increasing attention as a possible causative agent for squamous cell carcinoma of the tonsil. Recent reports have indicated that the viral load within the tumor, along with other factors, may be correlated to the patient survival. In this study, we sought to examine HPV-16 viral load as an independent prognostic indicator. Patients and methods. DNA was extracted from 35 tonsil carcinoma samples and the viral load was determined by real-time PCR. The patients were divided into four groups according to HPV-16 viral load. The correlation between viral load and recurrence, disease-free survival, and overall survival was assessed. Results. We found that HPV-positive patients with the highest viral loads had improved overall and disease-free survival. Recurrences of squamous cell carcinoma were significantly less likely to occur with increasing viral load.
- Tonsil carcinoma