Association of high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) types in patients with breast cancer : UK population-based study

Shakir, F. A. (2015) Association of high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) types in patients with breast cancer : UK population-based study. (MSc(R) thesis), Kingston University, .


Breast cancer (BC) is the most common type of cancer amongst women worldwide, after lung cancer, it is a prominent cause of death in the UK. 70% of women diagnosed have unidentifiable risk factors which can cause many problems in the prevention, early diagnosis and treatment. Despite the medical importance of breast cancer, few studies have been conducted on the causative factors associated with the development of these cancers. Although it is well known that multiple risk factors are associated with breast cancer development, the initiating cause has not been identified. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is associated with several types of anogenital cancers; playing a role in its initiation and progression, for example high risk (HR) HPV types causing cervical cancer. Previous research suggested that high risk HPVs may also function in the pathogenesis of breast cancer, however due to varying results, the association of HPV and breast cancer remains a contentious topic and further research is needed. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of 8 HR-HPV tpes; 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45 and 59 in fresh abnormal breast malignant and benign breast tissue samples. A total of 69 fresh breast samples consisted of 57 malignant, and 12 benign were selected from patients at Kingston Hospital to perform high risk HPV genotyping using AmpliSenes (R) HPV HCR DNA genotyping kit. Of the 69 breast samples analysed by DNA PCR, 32 (46.3 %) were positive for HPV DNA. HPV was detected in the 25 (36.2%) of malignant samples, 7 (10.1%) of benign samples. This early findings strengthen the association of HPV and breast cancer and will allow us to address important questions on the causative agents of breast cancer, however, more abnormal breast samples specially benign ones are required to support this association and further research is also needed to understand whether HPV plays any role in the pathogenesis of breast cancer. Moreover, this study provides valuable baseline data for future assessment of the impact of current prophylactic vaccination programs that is protective against the two most common oncogenic types of HPV associated cancers, HPV-16 and HPV-18, but not against other high-risk HPVs, reported in this population.

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