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Human papillomavirus and salivary gland neoplasia: a p16INK4 immunohistochemical and in situ hybridisation study

  • M S Miah (a1), S Majumdar (a1), S White (a2), M Robinson (a3) and N Kernohan (a2)...



This study aimed to evaluate the association between human papillomavirus infection and salivary gland tumours in a Scottish cohort.


Specimens from a range of salivary gland tumours operated on between 1997 and 2012 were studied. A tissue microarray constructed from tissue blocks was subjected to p16INK4 (cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 2A) immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridisation using probes specific for human papillomavirus, including types 16 and 18.


A total of 61 tumours (benign and malignant) were deemed suitable for the study. p16INK4 staining yielded three (4.9 per cent) positive samples: one small cell carcinoma, one squamous cell carcinoma and one poorly differentiated carcinoma. Human papillomavirus in situ hybridisation demonstrated a positive signal in the latter sample only (1.6 per cent).


This study demonstrated a very low human papillomavirus detection rate in salivary gland tumours. It can therefore be concluded that human papillomavirus infection is unlikely to play a role in salivary gland neoplasia. Rare human papillomavirus positive cases should be carefully evaluated to exclude the possibility of a metastatic lesion.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Mr M S Miah, Department of ENT – Head and Neck Surgery, Ninewells Hospital and University of Dundee Medical School, Dundee DD1 9SY, UK Fax: +44 1382 632816 E-mail:


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Presented as an oral presentation at the ENT UK Annual Meeting 2014, 12 September 2014, London, UK



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