Background: Despite the fact that approximately ten types of human papillomavirus (HPV) are associated with cervical carcinoma, the question of whether the HPV type present in cervical carcinoma is related to clinical behavior had yet to be answered when this study was conducted.
Methods: The presence and type of HPV were determined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based assay (LI-PCR) in 146 cervical carcinomas. Clinical features were compared among the following 4 groups: Group 18 (27 patients positive for HPV 18), Group 16 (55 patients positive for HPV 16), Group O (47 patients positive for the other HPV types), and Group N (17 HPV negative patients). Special focus was given to histologic type, patient's age at onset, and patient survival as indicators of the biologic properties of the carcinomas.
Results: Occurrence of adenocarcinoma or adenosquamous carcinoma was higher in Group 18 (48%) than in Group 16 (13%) or Group O (9%) (P < 0.0005). The mean age of the patients at onset was different among the 4 groups (Group 18, 46 years; Group 16, 55 years; Group O, 63 years; Group N, 58 years) (P < 0.005). The prevalence of HPV 18, HPV 16, and other forms of the virus was most frequent in ages < 40, 50-79, and > 60, respectively. Group 18 had a poorer prognosis than Group 16, O, or N. A statistical difference in the 5-year survival rate was found between Groups 18 and 16 (52% vs. 74%, P < 0.05).
Conclusions: These data suggest that the HPV type present in cervical carcinoma is related to clinical behavior.