Aims: Poorly differentiated neuroendocrine carcinoma (PDNEC) of the head and neck is a rare high-grade neuroendocrine neoplasm. Human papillomavirus (HPV) status and p16 status are as yet unclear among PDNECs, owing to a lack of statistical analysis. The objective of the present study was therefore to evaluate their potential clinicopathological associations, and their prognostic impact on overall survival in PDNECs of the head and neck, regardless to HPV genotype. Methods and results: All cases of PDNEC of the head and neck between 1998 and 2019 were identified from the database of the Lyon university hospital pathology department (n = 21); for these cases, p16 immunohistochemistry and HPV in-situ hybridisation were performed. Published cases of PDNEC of the head and neck with assessment of HPV status and p16 status were identified in PubMed (n = 57). Local and published cases were pooled for analysis. HPV positive (HPV+) tumour status was found to be significantly associated with oropharyngeal localisation (P < 0.001) and overexpression of p16 (P < 0.001). Multivariate analysis, adjusted on tumour site, histological subtype, p16 status, HPV status, and source of the case, showed that oropharyngeal localisation [hazard ratio (HR) 3.031, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.257–7.310] and being a small-cell variant (HR 2.859, 95% CI 1.150–7.109) were significant predictors of worse overall survival; HPV+ tumour status was associated with better overall survival (HR 0.388, 95% CI 0.146–0.995). Conclusions: HPV+ tumour status was associated with oropharyngeal PDNECs and with a better prognosis.
- HPV-related poorly differentiated neuroendocrine carcinoma
- head and neck
- neuroendocrine carcinoma
- p16 staining
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine