The role of high-risk human papillomavirus in periocular cancers
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PURPOSE: High risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) is well established as a causative agent of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the orophaynx. HR-HPV has also been reported in periocular cancers and precancers, but controversy exists about its overall incidence and clinicopathologic profile. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the role of HR-HPV infection in periocular cancers and precancers, using multiple methods of detection. DESIGN: Retrospective observational case series with laboratory investigations. METHODS: Sequential surgical samples of 87 carcinomas (invasive SCC, SCC in situ and sebaceous carcinoma) from three different periocular sites (conjunctiva, lacrimal sac and the eyelid) diagnosed over a 15-year period (2000-2015) were selected for evaluation. Unstained paraffin sections of 87 cases of periocular carcinomas were analyzed with immunohistochemistry (IHC) for p16 as a screening test. p16 positive conjunctival- and lacrimal sac SCC were further evaluated for HR-HPV using DNA in situ hybridization (DNA ISH), and a subset was also analyzed by DNA Polymerase Chain Reaction (DNA PCR). p16 positive periocular sebaceous carcinomas (SC) were analyzed with PCR, and a subset of 18cases was further studied with a novel method of mRNA ISH, an advanced technique with an enhanced sensitivity and specificity. Relevant patient clinical information was obtained from review of the electronic medical records.