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Urol Res. 1999 Jun;27(3):180-4.

Low frequency of human papillomavirus infection in initial papillary bladder tumors.

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  • 1Centre de recherche en cancérologie de l'Université Laval, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Québec, Canada.


The involvement of human papillomavirus (HPV) in bladder cancer remains controversial. We previously reported detection of L1-HPV DNA in 39% of bladder cancers of mixed grade and stage. To clarify the possible etiologic role of HPV we studied, using the same technique, a more homogeneous group of initial low-stage tumors. We investigated a total of 187 newly diagnosed superficial papillary bladder tumors for the presence of L1-HPV DNA by the polymerase chain reaction method and hybridization with specific probes for HPV 6, 11, 16, 18, 33. HPV DNA was detected in 16 (8.5%) of the 187 specimens tested, although in a low copy number compared with SiHa cervical cancer cells used as control. HPV type 16 was observed in eight tumors while HPV type 6 and type 11 were each observed in three tumors. Two tumor specimens contained two types of HPV: one tumor hybridized with type 6 and 16 and the other with type 11 and 18. This low rate of HPV detection (8.5%) in initial tumors does not favor a prominent role for HPV in bladder carcinogenesis.

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