Does human papillomavirus have a role in cancers of the uterine corpus?

Gynecol Oncol. 1999 Oct;75(1):51-4. doi: 10.1006/gyno.1999.5534.


Objective: Thepurpose of this study was to determine the role of the human papillomavirus (HPV) in invasive uterine corpus cancer by characterizing the frequency of HPV DNA in malignant uterine tumors.

Methods: Hysterectomy specimens from 66 women with uterine carcinoma were analyzed. Tumor specimens were frozen at -80 degrees C at the time of surgical resection. DNA was later extracted and examined for HPV DNA using type-specific PCR primers for HPV 6, 16, and 18 and consensus primers MY09/MY11, which detect DNA from 33 other common HPV types. Isolation procedures were undertaken to prevent contamination.

Results: The histologic diagnoses of the 66 uterine cancer cases included 58 endometrial adenocarcinomas, 4 adenosquamous carcinomas, 3 malignant mixed mesodermal tumors, and 1 squamous cell carcinoma. HPV was detected by both type-specific and consensus primers in only 2 of the uterine specimens. None of the typical endometrioid adenocarcinoma specimens contained HPV DNA. HPV 16 was detected in 1 of the adenosquamous carcinoma samples and HPV 18 was detected in the squamous carcinoma specimen.

Conclusion: HPV DNA is not found in malignancies of the uterine corpus without malignant squamous elements when the risk of contamination is minimized. For these tumors, HPV appears to be unrelated to the neoplastic transformation process.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • DNA Probes, HPV
  • DNA, Viral / analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Papillomaviridae / genetics
  • Papillomaviridae / isolation & purification*
  • Uterine Neoplasms / virology*


  • DNA Probes, HPV
  • DNA, Viral