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ISRN Otolaryngology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 263271, 7 pages
Clinical Study

Interferon Inducible IFI16 Expression in p16 Positive Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Oropharynx

1Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka 812-8582, Japan
2Department of Anatomic Pathology, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka 812-8582, Japan

Received 10 May 2013; Accepted 19 June 2013

Academic Editors: R. Davis and T. Just

Copyright © 2013 Moriyasu Yamauchi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Human-papillomavirus- (HPV-) positive oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas (OPSCC) are reported to be more responsive to treatment and to be related to a favorable prognosis compared with non-HPV carcinomas. However, the molecular basis of the responsiveness is unclear. Interferon inducible IFI16, which is implicated in the control of cell growth, apoptosis, angiogenesis, and immunomodulation in various types of cancers, is reported to be frequently expressed in the HPV-positive head and neck SCC and to correlate with a better prognosis. In this study, we hypothesized that HPV related OPSCC expresses IFI16 resulting in favorable prognosis. To clarify the relationship between the prognosis of HPV related OPSCC patients and IFI16 status, we examined immunohistologically the pretreatment specimens of OPSCC for the expression of p16 as a surrogate marker of HPV infection and IFI16. We could not show that the expression of IFI16 is associated with that of p16. There was no significant difference in the survival rate between IFI16 positive and negative groups. Patients with p16 negative tumor exhibited worse survival rate regardless of IFI16 status. In this limited case series, we could not conclude that IFI16 expression is altered in p16 positive OPSCC and that it would be a new predictive marker or a useful therapeutic tool.