High-risk HPV found in penile carcinomas

August 22, 2012

High-risk human papillomavirus (hrHPV) infection in a subset of penile squamous cell carcinomas (PSCCs) may develop from undifferentiated penile intraepithelial neoplasia (PeIN), a new study reveals.

Barcelona, Spain - High-risk human papillomavirus (hrHPV) infection in a subset of penile squamous cell carcinomas (PSCCs) may develop from undifferentiated penile intraepithelial neoplasia (PeIN), a new study reveals.

Researchers with Hospital Universitari Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona, examined the prevalence of HPV in a retrospective series of 82 patients with PSCC, HealthDay News reports. To detect HPV, investigators used polymerase chain reaction assay with SPF-10 broad-spectrum primers, followed by DNA enzyme immunoassay. They performed genotyping with a reverse hybridization line probe assay.

Researchers found HPV DNA in 40 percent of PSCCs. HPV-16 was identified in 81 percent of cases. Most basaloid and warty tumors were hrHPV positive, while only 15 percent of usual PSCC were hrHPV positive. All hrHPV-positive PSCC had an adjacent undifferentiated PeIN.

The researchers found that hrHPV infection correlated with strong p16INK4a immunostaining, and p16INK4a immunohistochemical overexpression was present in most undifferentiated PeIN.

“In this study, we detected hrHPV in 28 percent of PSCC and in 90 percent of PeIN,” the study authors wrote. “These results allow identification of a subset of PSCC in which HPV would play a triggering role and give support to the bimodal etiopathogenic hypothesis that distinguishes two different subsets of PSCC.”

The study was published online in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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