Detection of human papillomaviruses from histologically normal lymph nodes of Japanese cervical cancer patients by nested polymerase chain-reaction assay

Int J Cancer. 1993 Apr 1;53(6):932-7. doi: 10.1002/ijc.2910530611.


To determine the prognostic significance of human papilloma virus (HPV) DNA in histologically normal lymph nodes, we developed a nested polymerase chain-reaction (PCR) method on HPV16,18 and 33 DNAs for formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues. We investigated 370 histologically normal lymph nodes from 15 patients treated for stage-IB/IIB (FIGO) invasive cervical cancer. HPV16 DNA was detected in 7 (47%) and HPV18 DNA in 3 (20%) of the cervical cancers. Examination of histologically normal lymph nodes from these 10 patients by nested PCR revealed HPV DNA in 5 (50%) of them; in all cases HPV type in lymph nodes and tumor was the same. Two of these 5 patients had a recurrence (pelvic cavity or lung) and died of cancer, although all 5 had had pelvic radiotherapy after radical hysterectomy and lymphadenectomy. These findings indicate that nested PCR is useful for evaluating early lymph-node involvement retrospectively in HPV-positive cases.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA, Viral / genetics
  • Female
  • Formaldehyde
  • Humans
  • Lymph Nodes / cytology
  • Lymph Nodes / microbiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Papillomaviridae / genetics*
  • Paraffin Embedding
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tumor Virus Infections / genetics
  • Tumor Virus Infections / microbiology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / microbiology*


  • DNA, Viral
  • Formaldehyde