Spit shine.

HPV-testing can stand to be spruced up a little. Tumor staining with p16 is a great surrogate for HPV-driven biology in oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and it has the added benefit of being much cheaper and easier than actual viral-testing. Which is all well and good when looking for a simple prognostic indicator, but what p16-staining can’t do is elucidate the culprit HPV genotype. And that may become more important as we learn more about the efficacy of specific HPV vaccinations and preventative and therapeutic strategies. Moffitt turned to the ingenious technique of examining the spit of men with untreated oropharyngeal SCC. Among 178 patients with evaluable gargle and tumor specimens, results of both samples resulted in near perfect agreement among 11 of 12 high-risk genotypes and all 7 low-risk genotypes tested. The most common genotype HPV 16 was detected in 83% of tumor and 63% of gargle specimens with 74% agreement. TBL: Simple gargle samples can detect most clinically-relevant HPV genotypes in men with oropharyngeal SCC. | Marin-Gomez, JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2019


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