Human papillomavirus (HPV) genotypes and HPV16 variants and risk of adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix

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Objective: Human papillomavirus (HPV) genotypes have been extensively studied in uterine cervix squamous cell carcinoma and HPV16 variants have been found to be associated with increased cancer risk, but few reports have been published on genotype distribution and HPV16 variant prevalence in adenocarcinoma tumors. The objective of this study was to analyze viral genotypes and HPV16 intratypic variants in cervical adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma of Italian women. Methods: A total of 39 invasive adenocarcinoma and 132 squamous cell carcinoma were reviewed and classified according to the modified WHO classification. HPV sequences were detected by nested PCR, using the broad spectrum consensus-primer pairs MY09/MY11 and the GP5+/GP6+ system, and genotyped by nucleotide sequence analysis. The HPV16-positive cases were amplified with E6-specific oligonucleotides and amplimers subjected to direct nucleotide sequence for variant identification. Results: The prevalence rate of any HPV infection was 72% in adenocarcinoma, and 85% in cervical squamous cell carcinoma. Among the 140 HPV-positive cancer cases, a total of nine mucosal HPV genotypes (HPV16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 58, 82) epidemiologically classified as carcinogenic or probably carcinogenic viruses were identified. The HPV type 16 was the most common viral type representing 64% and 73% of all infections in adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, respectively. The E6 nucleotide sequence analysis of HPV16 isolates allowed the identification of Asian American (AA) variants in 33% of adenocarcinoma and in 20% of squamous cell carcinoma suggesting their stronger association with cancer of glandular origin. Conclusion: These results suggest that HPV16 has a high prevalence in both invasive adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma from Italian patients. Moreover this study confirms previous observations, summarized in a systematic review of the literature, on the increased cancer risk of HPV16 AA class in adenoglandular cancer, possibly related to their more oncogenic behavior compared to HPV16 European variants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-42
Number of pages11
JournalGynecologic Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011


  • Cervical adenocarcinoma
  • Cervical squamous cell carcinoma
  • HPV16 variants
  • Human papillomavirus
  • Italy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Oncology


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