Investigating the role of human papillomavirus in lung cancer

Papillomavirus Res. 2017 Jun;3:7-10. doi: 10.1016/j.pvr.2016.12.002. Epub 2016 Dec 7.


Lung cancer is the leading cancer worldwide among men and women with morbidity reaching 1.6 million. Human Papillomavirus is the causal factor of cervical cancer while its association with others is still under investigation. The purpose of our study is to examine the presence of HPV DNA as well as high-risk E6/E7 mRNA in patients with lung cancer. Lung tissues were collected during bronchoscopy and tested for HPV DNA and E6/E7 mRNA. 67 lung tissue samples were analysed. The age range was 49-85 years old (y.o) with a mean age of 67.6 y.o. 9 patients were female and 58 were male. The study included 12 Small Cell Lung Cancers (SCLC) and 55 Non Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC). HPV DNA was detected in 3.0% (2/67) of lung cancer cases, while no E6/E7 mRNA of five high-risk HPV types was found in tissue samples examined. The two positive patients had no prior history of an HPV related disease. Using the mRNA test as a gold standard for the association of HPV with malignant transformation, the present results showed no association of HPV status with lung cancer. Further investigation of more lung cancer tissues is required to reach safe conclusions.

Keywords: Genotyping; HPV; Lung cancer; mRNA E6/E7.