Background: Human papillomavirus (HPV) has been identified not only in anogenital carcinomas, but also in malignancies of other organs, including bronchogenic carcinomas. Previous studies reporting detection of these viruses in lung cancers used mainly in situ hybridization. The authors applied the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for investigating the occurrence of HPV in bronchial neoplasms.
Methods: Formalin fixed, paraffin embedded tissues of 40 squamous and 7 large cell lung cancers were examined. PCR was done with consensus primers, capable of detecting HPV 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 52b, and 58.
Results: None of the 47 samples contained any of the examined HPV types.
Conclusions: Because the squamous and large cell cancer cases were found not to be associated with HPV infection, this study does not support the potential role of these viruses in the development of lung cancers.