Research Article| Volume 50, ISSUE 2, P119-121, March 2012

Download started.


Survey of the use of tests for human papilloma virus and epidermal growth factor receptor for squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck in UK head and neck multidisciplinary teams


      Human papilloma virus (HPV), usually type 16, has emerged as an aetiological and prognostic marker of oropharyngeal carcinomas, and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) has been associated with poor prognosis in patients with carcinoma of the head and neck. This makes the identification of cancers associated with these biomarkers important in the management of patients. We surveyed UK head and neck multidisciplinary teams by email using an online form to assess the use of biomarker testing. Overall 33 cancer networks were contacted and 28 (85%) responded. HPV tests were used in departments by 22 (79%) of our respondents, while only 3 (11%) used EGFR tests. The commonest reasons for not using them were lack of availability and lack of clinical indication.


      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Ragin C.C.
        • Taioli E.
        Survival of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck in relation to human papillomavirus infection: review and meta-analysis.
        Int J Cancer. 2007; 121: 1813-1820
        • Sugiyama M.
        • Bhawal U.K.
        • Kawamura M.
        • Ishioka Y.
        • Shigeishi H.
        • Higashikawa K.
        • et al.
        Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2007; 45: 116-122
      1. Wenig BM, Barnes L, Carlson DL,Ellis G,Harrison LB,Hunt JL, et al. Protocol for examination of specimens from patients with carcinomas of the pharynx. Based on AJCC/UICC TNM, 7th ed. College of American Pathologists. Available from URL:

        • Ang K.K.
        • Harris J.
        • Wheeler R.
        • Weber R.
        • Rosenthal D.I.
        • Nguyen-Tân P.F.
        • Westra W.H.
        • et al.
        N Engl J Med. 2010; 363: 24-35
        • Näsman A.
        • Attner P.
        • Hammarstedt L.
        • Du J.
        • Eriksson M.
        • Giraud G.
        • et al.
        Incidence of human papillomavirus (HPV) positive tonsillar carcinoma in Stockholm, Sweden: an epidemic of viral-induced carcinoma?.
        Int J Cancer. 2009; 125: 362-366
        • Ang K.K.
        • Berkey B.A.
        • Tu X.
        • Zhang H.Z.
        • Katz R.
        • Hammond E.H.
        • et al.
        Impact of epidermal growth factor receptor expression on survival and pattern of relapse in patients with advanced head and neck carcinoma.
        Cancer Res. 2002; 62: 7350-7356
        • Bonner J.A.
        • Harari P.M.
        • Giralt J.
        • Azarnia N.
        • Shin D.M.
        • Cohen R.B.
        • et al.
        Radiotherapy plus cetuximab for squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck.
        N Engl J Med. 2006; 354: 567-578