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Human Papillomavirus

The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a causative agent for a subset of carcinomas arising from the mucosal lining of the head and neck. A better understanding of the role HPV as a cancer causing agent tumors may provide new ways to effectively prevent and treat HPV-related cancers of the head and neck. Clearly, accurate detection of HPV in the cancer samples will be necessary to determine which patients will most likely benefit from HPV-directed therapy.

The Head and Neck Pathology Consultation Service at the The Johns Hopkins Hospital now provides a very reliable test to detect the presence HPV-16, the most common HPV subtype to cause cancers of the head and neck. The powerful HPV-16 in situ hybridization catalyzed signal amplification method (DAKO) is highly sensitive, is applicable to formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded clinical samples, and permits direct visualization of viral sequences within tissues.

HPV-16 detection is a service that is now provided to referring physicians. To send a sample for HPV-16 analysis, please follow these simple guidelines: