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Unlocking the potential of saliva-based test to detect HPV-driven oropharyngeal cancer.


24 Nov 2018


Poster display - Cocktail


Kai Dun Tang


Annals of Oncology (2018) 29 (suppl_9): ix94-ix104. 10.1093/annonc/mdy438


K.D. Tang, C. Punyadeera

Author affiliations

  • The School Of Biomedical Sciences/ihbi, Queensland University of Technology, 4059 - Brisbane/AU


Abstract 1244


The incidence of human papillomavirus (HPV)-driven oropharyngeal cancer (OPC) is increasing in the developed countries including Australia. Accumulating evidence supports the notion that an accurate HPV testing is crucial for clinical decision making and treatment planning in these patients.


HPV positivity in patients who have been diagnosed with OPC tumours (n = 105) was examined using p16INK4A immunohistochemistry (IHC) analysis. HPV-16 genotyping and physical status in salivary oral rinse and tumour samples were analyzed using qPCR method.


The inter-rater agreement between OPC tumour p16INK4A expression and oral HPV-16 infection was considered as fair (k = 0.387). Salivary HPV-16 DNA (E2 and/or E6/7) was detected in 73 out of 95 p16INK4A-positive OPC patients. Importantly, HPV-16 genotyping and the ratio of HPV16 E2 DNA to HPV16 E6/7 DNA were concordant between the salivary oral rinse and tumour samples. Consistent with previous studies, for the majority of OPC patients, a mixed HPV-16 form (episomal and integrated) was detected in both sample methods, suggesting that salivary HPV-16 could be used as a potential biomarker for OPC.


HPV-16 detection in saliva is an attractive non-invasive method that can easily be implemented either as a dentist-chair side test or as a laboratory developed test to detect HPV-driven OPC.

Editorial acknowledgement

Clinical trial identification

Legal entity responsible for the study

Saliva Translational Research Group.


Atlantic Philanthropies, the Queensland Government.


All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.

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