Human papilloma virus (HPV) is possibly involved in laryngeal but not in lung carcinogenesis

Hum Pathol. 1999 Mar;30(3):274-83. doi: 10.1016/s0046-8177(99)90005-9.


Data on human papilloma virus (HPV) involvement in preneoplastic and neoplastic lesions of the larynx and lung are limited and conflicting. The presence of HPV was investigated in a series of laryngeal specimens and non-small cell lung carcinomas (NSCLCs). The laryngeal samples (154) comprised 14 cases with hyperplasia without dysplasia, 49 with dysplasia, and 91 squamous cell carcinomas (SqCCs). The NSCLCs included 31 SqCCs, 32 adenocarcinomas, and 5 undifferentiated large cell carcinomas. Furthermore, we examined, for HPV DNA sequences, 14 bronchial metaplastic squamous lesions located next to cancerous areas. We used a sensitive nested polymerase chain reaction assay (NPCR), dot blotting, and in situ hybridization. The findings were correlated with clinicopathologic features of the patients. In the laryngeal specimens, NPCR analysis showed HPV DNA in 20 (13%) of the 154 specimens. Notably, 19 of 20 HPV-positive cases were carcinomas and only one was a mild dysplastic lesion. Typing of the carcinomas showed single HPV 6, 16, 18, and 33 infection in 1 (1.1%), 12 (13.2%), 2 (2.2%), and 1 (1.1%) samples, respectively, and HPV 6/33, 16/33, and 6/18 coinfection in three carcinomas. In situ hybridization findings were in agreement with PCR results, with the exception of two cases in which HPV 18 DNA was detected only by PCR. HPV was more frequently observed in heavy smokers than in patients with low daily cigarette consumption and nonsmokers (P = .03). There was no correlation between virus infection and gender, grade, and lymph node status of the carcinomas. None of the NSCLCs or adjacent metaplastic squamous epithelium contained HPV DNA sequences. The presented data suggest a contributory role of HPV in late stages of laryngeal carcinogenesis, because all premalignant lesions were negative but one. This study does not support a potential role of HPV in the development of NSCLCs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / virology
  • DNA, Viral / analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoblotting
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / virology*
  • Lung Neoplasms / virology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Papillomaviridae / isolation & purification*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / virology*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Precancerous Conditions / virology
  • Tumor Virus Infections / virology*


  • DNA, Viral