Detection of high-risk human papillomavirus in prostate cancer from a UK based population

Ahmed, M. Yahya, Salman, Nadia Aziz, Sandhu, Sarbjinder, Cakir, M. Okan, Seddon, Alan M., Kuehne, Christian and Ashrafi, G. Hossein (2023) Detection of high-risk human papillomavirus in prostate cancer from a UK based population. Scientific Reports, 13(1), p. 7633. ISSN (online) 2045-2322


Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is one of the sexually transmitted diseases which have been implicated in the etiology of multiple cancers. To date, several studies have been conducted to evaluate the incidence of high-risk (HR) HPV in prostate cancer (PCa) which have generated widely conflicting data. Hence, this leaves a lack of awareness on the causal role of persistent HPV infection in the development of PCa. Although this has been investigated in a handful of countries, to the best of our knowledge, no prior studies have been conducted in the UK. In this study, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and Sanger sequencing were implemented to analyze a total of 49 fresh prostate specimens (35 benign and 14 malignant specimens) for the presence of viral DNA of 12 HR-HPV types. Data obtained confirmed the presence of HR-HPV in 32.7% of analyzed benign and malignant prostate tissues with HPV 35 being identified as the most frequent type. Moreover, HR-HPV positivity rate was found to be higher in abnormal prostate tissues (adenocarcinoma and benign with prostatitis) compared those with normal prostate condition. Using immunohistochemistry, we have confirmed the expression of HPV E7 protein in prostate tissues positive for HPV DNA. This observation, the first reported from a UK population, suggests that the presence of HPV in prostate tissue is likely to be a related factor in the progression of certain cases of prostate cancer.

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