Purpose: To clarify the role of human papillomavirus (HPV) in non-muscle invasive bladder cancer, HPV-DNA was scrutinized in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) bladder cancer tissue using single-step PCR (HPV L1) for HPV detection, followed by reverse line blot (RLB) for genotyping.
Methods: A total of 186 patients who underwent transurethral resection of the bladder due to primary, non-muscle invasive bladder cancer from 2006 to 2009 were reviewed. A positive control group of 22 cervical tissues with cervical carcinoma was included.
Results: Histology confirmed urothelial carcinoma in all patients: primary CIS, pTa, pT1 and pTa + pT1 in 14 (7.5 %), 134 (72 %), 36 (19.4 %) and two (1.1 %) patients, respectively. A total of 119 (63.9 %) of them were classified as low-risk, while 67 (36.1 %) were high-risk cancers. Tumor recurrence and progression (≥pT2) were seen in 79 and 11 patients (mean follow-up 45 months). The presence of HPV-DNA by single-step PCR was detected in four (2.2 %) patients. HPV 16 and HPV 6 were positive in two (1.1 %) and one (0.6 %) patient, respectively In one case, no HPV genotype listed on the RLB assay could be identified. In the control group, the HPV infection rate was 100 %: HPV 16 in 12 (54.6 %) patients, HPV 16/18 in four (18.3 %) patients, HPV 18 in two (9.1 %) patients, HPV 16/45 in one patient (4.5 %), HPV 18/33 in one (4.5 %) patient, HPV 16/33 in one (4.5 %) patient and HPV 33 in one (4.5 %) patient.
Conclusions: Our study demonstrates low prevalence of HPV infection in FFPE bladder cancer tissue, arguing against the etiological role of HPV in non-muscle urothelial carcinogenesis.
Keywords: Bladder cancer; Carcinogenesis; Human papillomavirus; Hybridization; Infection; PCR.