Low incidence of HPV DNA in sera of pretreatment cervical cancer patients

Gynecol Oncol. 2001 Aug;82(2):269-72. doi: 10.1006/gyno.2001.6289.


Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility of using DNA in the circulation as a diagnostic tool for cervical cancer.

Methods: We used PCR followed by Southern hybridization to detect human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA in serum samples taken from patients of cervical cancer before treatment.

Results: A total of 60 samples were analyzed. In a set of 40 samples, without knowledge of the HPV DNA status in the corresponding cervical carcinomas, we could detect 8 (20%) positive samples, of which 7 (17.5%) were HPV 16 and 1 (2.5%) was HPV 18. In another set of 20 samples, known to be HPV 16 infected in the corresponding cervical carcinomas, we detected only 4 (20%) HPV-16-positive samples. The occurrence of HPV DNA in sera of cervical cancer patients seems sporadic.

Conclusion: The low incidence indicates that serum HPV DNA has limited application in the diagnosis of cervical cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Blotting, Southern
  • DNA, Viral / blood*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Papillomaviridae / classification
  • Papillomaviridae / genetics*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / blood*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Papillomavirus Infections / virology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Tumor Virus Infections / blood*
  • Tumor Virus Infections / epidemiology
  • Tumor Virus Infections / virology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / blood*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / virology*


  • DNA, Viral