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J Clin Virol. 2004 Dec;31(4):292-7.

Detection of human papillomavirus DNA in breast cancer of patients with cervical cancer history.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Innsbruck University Hospital, Anichstrasse 35, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria.



Recent studies have revealed a possible role for the human papillomavirus (HPV) in the pathogenesis of breast cancer. In this study, patients having both a history of invasive cervical cancer and breast cancer as second primary cancer were selected for enrolment in a study of breast carcinomas for the presence of HPV.


Paraffin-embedded tissue from cervical cancer, pelvic lymph nodes, breast cancer and axillary lymph nodes of eleven patients were examined for the presence of HPV DNA using a polymerase chain reaction - enzyme immuno assay. DNA extraction was performed with the "QIAamp Tissue Kit" according to the manufacturer's instructions. Additionally, serum samples taken between diagnosis of cervical and breast cancer, were analyzed for the presence of HPV DNA to examine a possible haematogenous spread of oncogenic HPV DNA.


All cervical carcinomas were HPV-positive. HPV DNA was detected in seven out of eleven cases in breast cancer and/or axillary lymph node tissue. Six patients had the same HPV type (HPV-16) in cervical cancer and in the corresponding breast cancer/lymph node tissue. In one case, the same HPV DNA type (HPV 16) was detected in cervical cancer, breast cancer and serum sample.


These results suggest that HPV DNA might be transported from the original site of infection to the breast tissue by the bloodstream, and that it is possibly involved in the carcinogenesis of breast neoplasia in some patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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