Cervical cancers associated with human papillomavirus types 16, 18 and 45 are diagnosed in younger women than cancers associated with other types: a cross-sectional observational study in Wales and Scotland (UK)

J Clin Virol. 2013 Nov;58(3):571-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jcv.2013.08.020. Epub 2013 Aug 30.


Background: Most cervical cancers are attributable to infection with one of fourteen types of human papillomavirus (HPV), but HPV types differ in oncogenic potential. Characterisation of cancers associated with specific HPV types is required to predict the likely impact of current prophylactic vaccines and the potential benefits of vaccine formulations including additional HPV types.

Objective: The study aimed to correlate HPV type with histology and age at diagnosis, in Invasive Cervical Cancers (ICCs) from two of the devolved countries of the UK (Wales and Scotland).

Study design: Centralised histopathology review and rigorously standardised HPV-DNA typing were applied to 592 ICC diagnosed 2001-2006. HPV status was analysed in relation to histology and age at diagnosis.

Results: HPV infection was confirmed in 535/592 cases. Among the 497 tumours infected with single HPV types, the three most common types were HPV16 (62% 95%CI: 57.6-66.1), HPV18 (18.9% 95%CI: 15.7-22.6) and HPV45 (5.4% 95%CI: 3.7-7.8). HPV16 or 18 were present in 80.9% of HPV positive cases. Women with tumours associated with HPV types 16, 18 and 45 were on average 10.5 years younger at diagnosis than women with tumours associated with other HPV types.

Conclusions: Prophylactic vaccines targeting HPV16 and 18 could potentially prevent up to 80.9% of ICC in the populations investigated. Cancers associated with HPV16, 18 and 45 were diagnosed at younger ages, supporting the hypothesis of faster progression than for tumours caused by other HPV types.

Keywords: ADC; ASC; Age; Cervical cancer; Diagnosis; FFPE; H&E; HPV; HR; Human papillomavirus; ICC; SCC; UK; adenocarcinoma; adenosquamous carcinoma; formalin fixed paraffin embedded; haematoxylin and eosin; high risk; human papillomavirus; invasive cervical cancer; squamous cell carcinoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Papillomaviridae / classification*
  • Papillomaviridae / isolation & purification*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / complications*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / pathology
  • Papillomavirus Infections / virology*
  • Scotland
  • United Kingdom
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / pathology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / virology*
  • Wales
  • Young Adult