Human papillomavirus and carcinoma of the mucosal surfaces of the head and neck

Erich Raubenheimer*, Thomas Slavik, Lou Lemmer, Henno Olivier, Willie van Heerden, Hilde Miniggio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Human papillomavirus induced cervical cancer is the fourth most prevalent malignancy affecting females globally. Over the past two decades scientific information unveiled an increasing role for the virus in the pathogenesis of malignancies developing from the mucosal surfaces of the oropharynx. It is feasible to postulate that we may be in the beginning of a global pandemic of oropharyngeal cancer if the mode of transmission of the virus is taken into account. The main goals of this manuscript are to present a brief summary of the mechanisms of human papillomavirus induced malignant transformation, provide guidelines for the microscopic diagnosis of high risk human papillomavirus involvement in mucosal biopsies and highlight the implications thereof in cancers of the mucosal surfaces of the head and neck.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-59
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Medicine, and Pathology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018


  • HPV 16
  • High risk HPV infection
  • Oropharyngeal cancer
  • p16


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