Résumé : We investigated the prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV) in a clinical series of 72 patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) using a retrospective and prospective study design. The majority of patients were smokers and/or drinkers and were treated with concomitant chemoradiotherapy (CCR). Furthermore, we assessed the impact of HPV positivity on the response to CCR. Paraffin-embedded samples from HNSCC patients (n=72) were evaluated for the presence of HPV DNA using both GP5+/GP6+ consensus PCR and type-specific E6/E7 PCR to detect HPV types 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 53, 56, 58, 59, 66, 67 and 68. The type-specific E6/E7 PCR demonstrated that 20 out of 69 HNSCC patients (29%) presented with high-risk (HR) HPV types and that 5 of the 69 HNSCC patients (7%) presented with low-risk (LR) HPV types. Using the GP5+/GP6+ PCR, we observed that the rate of response was statistically lower in the HPV+ group (P=0.02). Concerning patient outcomes in terms of recurrence and survival, we observed that the prognosis was poorer for HPV+ patients. We showed for the first time that patients with HPV+ HNSCC present with a worse prognosis after CCR. This observation highlights the need for prospective studies with large numbers of patients and a detailed history of tobacco and alcohol consumption before validating HPV as a marker of prognosis following CCR.