Alcohol and Tobacco Increases Risk of High Risk HPV Infection in Head and Neck Cancer Patients

Study from North-East Region of India

Citation: Kumar R, Rai AK, Das D, Das R, Kumar RS, Sarma A, et al. (2015) Alcohol and Tobacco Increases Risk of High Risk HPV Infection in Head and Neck Cancer Patients: Study from North-East Region of India. PLoS ONE 10(10): e0140700. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0140700
Published: October 16, 2015

Abstract
Gutka_vendor_in_IndiaBackground: Human papilloma virus (HPV) associated Head and Neck Cancers (HNCs) have generated significant amount of research interest in recent times. Due to high incidence of HNCs and lack of sufficient data on high-risk HPV (hr-HPV) infection from North -East region of India, this study was conceived to investigate hr-HPV infection, its types and its association with life style habits such as tobacco, alcohol consumption etc.
Methods: A total of one hundred and six primary HNC tumor biopsy specimens were collected. These samples were analyzed for hr-HPV DNA (13 HPV types) using hybrid capture 2 (HC2) assay and genotyping was done by E6 nested multiplex PCR (NMPCR).
Results: The presence of hr-HPV was confirmed in 31.13% (n = 33) and 24.52% (n = 26) of the HNC patients by nested multiplex PCR (NMPCR) and HC2 assay respectively. Among hr-HPV positive cases, out of thirteen hr- HPV types analyzed, only two prevalent genotypes, HPV-16 (81.81%) followed by HPV-18 (18.18%) were found. Significant association was observed between hr-HPV infection with alcohol consumption (p <0.001) and tobacco chewing (p = 0.02) in HNC cases. Compared to HPV-18 infection the HPV-16 was found to be significantly associated with tobacco chewing (p = 0.02) habit.
Conclusions: Our study demonstrated that tobacco chewing and alcohol consumption may act as risk factors for hr-HPV infection in HNCs from the North-East region of India. This was the first study from North-East India which also assessed the clinical applicability of HC2 assay in HNC patient specimens. We suggest that alcohol, tobacco and hr- HPV infection act synergistically or complement each other in the process of HNC development and progression in the present study population.

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