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HPV-associated lymphoepithelial carcinoma of the oropharynx

Friday 8 April 2016

Lymphoepithelial-like carcinoma of the oropharynx

Human papillomavirus-associated squamous cell cancer of the head and neck (HPV-HNSCC) represents an important subgroup of head and neck cancer that is characterized by distinct epidemiologic, clinical, and pathologic features including a relatively constant microscopic appearance.

For those cancers that deviate from the morphologic prototype, an association with HPV may not be recognized and accurate tumor classification may not be achieved.

HPV testing has disclosed a previously unrecognized morphologic variant of HPV-HNSCC that is microscopically indistinguishable from EBV-related carcinoma.

For lymphoepithelial carcinomas presenting as cervical lymph node metastases, testing for HPV and EBV is mandatory.


- Lymphoepithelial-like carcinoma of the oropharynx: a morphologic variant of HPV-related head and neck carcinoma. Singhi AD, Stelow EB, Mills SE, Westra WH. Am J Surg Pathol. 2010 Jun;34(6):800-5. doi : 10.1097/PAS.0b013e3181d9ba21 PMID: 20421782