Paraffin-embedded tumour sections were used for the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with three primer sets that amplify specific regions of human papillomavirus (HPV) types 11, 16 and 18. The positive samples were confirmed by hybridisation of the amplified sequences with the specific HPV probes. In all screened metastases the same viral sequences were found as in the primary tumour. HPV 16 was the most frequently detected virus in genital tract tumours. In a metastatic ovary carcinoma with unknown primary site HPV 16 DNA was observed. Moreover, pelvic lymph nodes with no microscopic evidence of metastases contained HPV DNA of the same subtype as the primary tumour. Thus, the HPV DNA detected by PCR is a useful indicator of neoplastic cells in the earlier stages of invasiveness. The finding of specific HPVs in the metastatic lesions could also provide information about the location of the primary neoplasia.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research