Protocol for adult patients (n=500)

Protocol for pediatric patients (n=200)

Project Overview

The SPLIT project is a cross-sectional epidemiological study in which tonsil specimens will be collected from 700 patients (stratified by age) undergoing tonsillectomy for non-cancer reasons.

For each patient, the half-tonsil surface will be extensively brushed to collect cells for infectious agent detection and liquid-based cytology. In addition, small fragments of tonsil tissue will be frozen for extensive analyses (virological characterization of HPV-positive cases). All handling of fresh specimens will be performed under strict sterile conditions in local pathology laboratories.

Detection of infectious agents will be based on PCR for a wide range of HPV types and other DNA viruses. Putative cellular abnormalities will be examined with liquid-based cytology. In a second phase, adult patients with the highest risk of cancer of the tonsil (i.e. HPV-positive, heavy smoker, and heavy alcohol drinker) will be selected, and extensive detection of precancerous lesions will be performed on paraffin blocks.

The SPLIT project has the potential to provide a breakthrough in the understanding of the molecular, cytological, and histological changes that accompany the onset of HPV-related and -unrelated tonsil carcinomas.

See specific objectives.


STUDY COORDINATION

Surgery
Prof. Jean LACAU ST GUILY
ORL/CCF – Hôpital Tenon
AP-HP
Biology/Pathology
Prof. Christine CLAVEL
INSERM UMR-S903
CHU de Reims
Epidemiology
Dr Silvia FRANCESCHI
Infections and Cancer Epidemiology Group
IARC - Lyon