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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 38  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 210-215

Association of human papillomavirus in penile cancer: A single-center analysis

1 Department of Urology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Biochemistry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
3 Department of Pathology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Prabhjot Singh
Department of Urology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/iju.iju_41_22

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Introduction: Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a known risk factor of penile cancer (PeCa). However, studies evaluating its true association are limited. In this study, we aimed to estimate HPV prevalence and its true association with PeCa in terms of molecular biological activities. Materials and Methods: This single-institutional prospective observational study was conducted between June 2016 and August 2019. We included 40 men with PeCa as a study group and 20 age-matched uncircumcised men who underwent circumcision for phimosis as a control group. Both the groups underwent deoxyribonucleic acid isolation for HPV subtyping followed by evaluation of relative E6/E7 messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) expression profile and relative telomerase activity in tissue samples. HPV-16 and -18 were categorized as high-risk, whereas HPV-6 and -11 were categorized as low-risk subtypes. Results: The mean (±standard deviation) age of PeCa was 51 ± 15.9 years. The majority of patients had stage II disease, and the most common procedure done was partial penectomy. The overall prevalence of HPV in PeCa was 42.5% (n = 17) as compared to 20% (n = 4) in controls. Among the subtypes, the most common subtype was HPV-16 noted in 33.3% (8/24) of cases, followed by HPV-18 in 29.2% (7/24) of cases. PeCa tissues had a significantly higher relative E7 mRNA expression for HPV-18 than the control group (P = 0.016). The mean relative telomerase activity was significantly higher in the PeCa tissues than the control group (138.66 vs. 14.46, P < 0.001). A significantly higher relative telomerase activity was noted in the PeCa tissues positive for high-risk HPV subtypes than controls (141.90 vs. 14.46, P = 0.0008), but not between high-risk HPV-positive and HPV-negative PeCa cases (141.90 vs. 137.03, P = 0.79). High-risk subtypes were not associated with tumor stage (P = 0.76) or lymph node metastasis (P = 0.816). Conclusions: HPV was associated in 42.5% of PeCa cases based on our experience from a single institution. PeCa tissues had a higher relative E7 mRNA expression for HPV-18 and relative telomerase activity as compared to controls suggesting their potential role as surrogate markers of virus-induced tumorigenesis.

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