No causal association identified for human papillomavirus infections in lung cancer

Devasena Anantharaman, Tarik Gheit, Tim Waterboer, Gordana Halec, Christine Carreira, Behnoush Abedi-Ardekani, Sandrine McKay-Chopin, David Zaridze, Anush Mukeria, Neonila Szeszenia-Dabrowska, Jolanta Lissowska, Dana Mates, Vladimir Janout, Lenka Foretova, Vladimir Bencko, Peter Rudnai, Eleonora Fabianova, Anne Tjønneland, Ruth C. Travis, Heiner BoeingJ. Ram̊on Quir̊os, Mikael Johansson, Vittorio Krogh, H. Bas Bueno-De-Mesquita, Anastasia Kotanidou, Fraņcoise Clavel-Chapelon, Elisabete Weiderpass, Mattias Johansson, Michael Pawlita, Ghislaine Scelo, Massimo Tommasino, Paul Brennan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Human papillomavirus (HPV) infections have been implicated in lung carcinogenesis, but causal associations remain uncertain. We evaluated a potential causal role for HPV infections in lung cancer through an analysis involving serology, tumor DNA, RNA, and p16 protein expression. Association between type-specific HPV antibodies and risk of lung cancer was examined among 3,083 cases and 4,328 controls in two case-control studies (retrospective) and one nested case-control study (prospective design). Three hundred and thirty-four available tumors were subjected to pathologic evaluation and subsequent HPV genotyping following stringent conditions to detect all high-risk and two low-riskHPVtypes. AllHPVDNA-positive tumors were further tested for the expression of p16 protein and type-specific HPV mRNA. On the basis of the consistency of the results, although HPV11 and HPV31 E6 antibodies were associated with lung cancer risk in the retrospective study, no association was observed in the prospective design. Presence of type-specific antibodies correlated poorly with the presence of the corresponding HPVDNAin the tumor. Although nearly 10% of the lung tumors were positive for any HPVDNA (7% for HPV16 DNA), none expressed the viral oncogenes. No association was observed between HPV antibodies or DNA and lung cancer survival. In conclusion, we found no supportive evidence for the hypothesized causal association between HPV infections and lung cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3525-3534
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Research
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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