Background & aims: Recent studies have suggested that esophageal human papillomavirus infection could be a risk factor for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of human papillomavirus DNA sequences in the esophagus of French patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Methods: Multiplex polymerase chain reactions with consensus primers directed to the L1 gene or specific primers for human papillomavirus types 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, and 33 directed to E6 gene (40 cycles followed by restriction mapping of the amplified products) were used to determine the presence of human papillomavirus DNA sequences in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (n = 75), normal adjacent mucosa (n = 49), and metastatic lymphadenopathies (n = 5). As an internal control, a target located in the embryonic myosin heavy-chain gene was used in each reaction.
Results: Human papillomavirus DNA sequences could not be detected in any of the tumoral samples, the normal adjacent mucosa, or the metastatic lymphadenopathies.
Conclusions: Human papillomavirus seems not to be implicated in esophageal carcinogenesis, at least in French patients, because the viral genomes are not associated with esophageal squamous cell carcinomas.