Objectives: The reported data regarding the incidence and significance of human papillomavirus (HPV) in prostate cancer have been inconsistent. In the present study the incidence of HPV 16 and 18 was evaluated in an expanded series of primary as well as metastatic prostate cancer specimens, in order to evaluate a potential role of HPV infection in development and progression of prostate cancer. This is the first study attempting to establish the significance of HPV in metastatic prostate cancer.
Methods: The presence of high risk human papillomaviruses HPV 16 and 18 was analyzed using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification method and Southern blot hybridization analysis in a total of 61 prostatic tissue specimens: 43 primary prostate adenocarcinoma formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded specimens, with varying degrees of differentiation (mean Gleason score 5.8, range 3 to 9); 17 pelvic lymph nodes positive for metastatic deposits; and 1 normal prostate specimen.
Results: This human papillomavirus typing indicates that only 1 out of the 43 prostatic specimens analyzed was positive for HPV 16 and 1 metastatic lymph node was positive for HPV 18, as revealed by Southern analysis. These results demonstrate the infrequent detection of HPV 16 and 18 DNA in all the primary prostatic adenocarcinoma specimens and metastatic lymph nodes analyzed in this study population.
Conclusions: The negative HPV status for primary and metastatic prostate cancer demonstrated in this study provides a strong argument against an etiological role of HPV infection in the development and progression of the disease.