Lymphoid cell infiltration into Epstein-Barr virus-positive nasopharyngeal carcinomas

Tommy Shpitzer*, Jeroen D.F. Kerrebijn, Jeremy L. Freeman, Warren Hartwick, Yuriko Saiki, Jonathan C. Irish, Christina M. Macmillan, Hans Michael Dosch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: A pilot study was designed fo analyze lymphoid cell infiltration in Epstein-Barr virus-positive (EBV+) nasopharyngeal carcinomas (NPCs) and to determine whether this pattern of infiltration is consistent' with non-EBV+ head and neck carcinomas or with solid EBV+ tumors in other locations. STUDY DESIGN: We performed a retrospective analysis of archived NPCs and oral cavity carcinomas. METHODS: Immunohistochemical staining of the archive material for various markers (CD3, CD8, UCHL-1, S-100, and intercellular adhesion molecule) was performed. Polymerase chain reaction techniques to establish the presence of the EBV genome were used. Cells in different locations were counted under a light microscope by 2 of the authors. RESULTS: The infiltration pattern of HPCs was different from that of oral cavity carcinomas. Stromal infiltration was significantly denser in oral cavity carcinomas. Tumor nest infiltratlon was more pronounced in NPCs. The pattern of infiltration was comparable with what has been described for other solid EBV+ tumors. CONCLUSIONS: The immune response to NPCs is likely to be strongly influenced by the presence of the EBV genome. The pattern of infiltration is similar to that of other non-head and neck EBV+ solid tumors and different from that of EBV- head and neck carcinomas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-194
Number of pages7
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
Saul A. Silverman Family Foundation
Temmy Latner/Dynacare


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