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SCC and genetic testing results. Help anyone?

Vivi C's picture
Vivi C
Posts: 70
Joined: Jul 2010

I have SCC at the base of the tongue and I am currently in tx. (both chemo and rad). I requested genetic testing to check for HPV. The nurse just called me an said that it was positive for subtype 16-18 and negative for 6-11 and 31-33. I asked her to explain what that meant and she is clueless. She is going to check with the doctor and get back to me. Anyone out there know what the implications of this might be as far as prognosis? I would appeciate your input. Thanks, Vivi

stevenl's picture
Posts: 587
Joined: Jan 2010

Hi Viv,

I am no expert but I was also HPV 16 positive, and was told by my ENT that it made my chances of being cured completely go up.


Greg53's picture
Posts: 848
Joined: Apr 2010


I'm like Steve. I'm far from an expert. There are others here that are probably more up-to-speed on what the effects are of being HPV +. The only thing I can tell you is that I'm HPV + also and I heard the exact same thing Steve did. And this came from 2 sets of doctors, as I did get a second opinion on my tx. Both sets of docs indicated clearly that HPV + meant not as many effects from the treatments and a much higher chance of a complete recovery. I would definitely take it as good news.

Positive thoughts coming your way.

RushFan's picture
Posts: 223
Joined: Aug 2010

...as Steve and Greg. I'm HPV+ too. When I was first diagnosed we signed a waiver so the path report could be sent to my wife's uncle, who is a pathologist and Phd in chemistry. As soon as he read HPV+ he indicated what Greg said. During my initial consult with my primary, she confirmed that it was a good thing.

All the best to you and everyone here.

miccmill's picture
Posts: 248
Joined: May 2010

As soon as the path report showed HPV 16 the atmosphere in Glenn's treatment team noticably lightened. The nurse coordinator actually said "Congratulations".

Here's wishing you the best in treatment and a good recovery.

Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

I also was diagnosed SCC STG III Tonsil Cancer and the biopsy shown HPV+. Cancer is cancer and it's all bad. That being said though, there does appear to be studies that given todays technology and treatment plans. HPV derived H&N Cancer does appear to respond well to these treatments.

HPV seems to actually be on the rise and at a point of over taking tobacco related H&N cancers. Some of that is due to cultural changes and habits, and more awareness of the dangers of tobacco use.

I would presume any (in the know) ENT, Chemo and Rads MD's would know this. Definitely a question and topic to discuss with your medical professionals. If they aren't up to speed and or aware of the HPV+ relationship with H&N cancers....well, I just might investigate a new medical team that is familiar and aware.


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