Detection of HPV-DNA by a PCR-based method in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue from rare endocervical carcinoma types

Appl Immunohistochem Mol Morphol. 2010 Jan;18(1):80-5. doi: 10.1097/PAI.0b013e3181ae7240.


High-risk human papilloma virus (HPV) seems to play a role in the pathogenesis of cervical squamous neoplasia and adenocarcinomas of the mucinous and endometrioid cell types. Cervical serous, clear cell, and small cell carcinomas differ from the conventional endocervical adenocarcinoma in their clinical characteristics. The data on the role of HPV in their pathogenesis are limited. In this study, we examined the presence of high-risk HPV-DNA in rare types of cervical carcinoma using polymerase chain reaction-based test. In-house cervical serous, clear cell, and small cell carcinoma cases accessioned between 2000 and 2008 were tested for HPV by polymerase chain reaction amplification of DNA extracted from deparaffinized sections using Roche AMPLICOR HPV Amplification Detection and Control Kits. The kit detects all 13 high-risk HPV-DNA genotypes. The positive cut-off point for AMPLICOR HPV Test was A450 = 0.2. We identified 4 serous, 3 clear cell, 1 mixed clear cell and serous, and 5 small cell carcinomas. High-risk HPV-DNA tested positive in 3 out of 4 serous carcinomas, 2 out of 3 cervical clear cell carcinomas, and all 5 cases of small cell carcinoma and the mixed cell type. Our report documents HPV status in a series of archival unusual types of adenocarcinoma of the uterine cervix. It suggests a robust association between high-risk HPV and these rare subtypes. Despite their unique clinical setting and morphologic appearance, the majority of these tumors likely share a common HPV-mediated carcinogenic pathway. Our observation is particularly significant in cervical cancer prevention as we enter the HPV vaccination era.

MeSH terms

  • DNA, Viral / analysis*
  • Female
  • Fixatives
  • Formaldehyde
  • Humans
  • Papillomaviridae / genetics
  • Papillomaviridae / isolation & purification*
  • Paraffin Embedding
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / virology*


  • DNA, Viral
  • Fixatives
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic
  • Formaldehyde