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Acta Oncol. 2005;44(7):694-9.

Human papilloma virus (HPV) is rarely detected in malignant melanomas of sun sheltered mucosal membranes.

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Department of Oncology-Pathology, Karolinska Institute, Cancer Center Karolinska, Karolinska University Hospital, 17176 Stockholm, Sweden.


Human papillomavirus (HPV) has been associated with some types of human cancer. The aim of this study was to investigate if HPV could be associated with human primary malignant melanoma in non sun-exposed body areas like mucous membranes. Through the Swedish National Cancer Registry, in compliance with the rules of the Human Ethical Committee, histopathological specimens were collected from different pathological laboratories throughout Sweden. The histopathological diagnosis was reviewed, and from 45 primary melanomas, tumour tissue was micro-dissected and analysed further. A protocol for detection of HPV DNA using general HPV primers GP5 + /GP6+ or CPI/IIG, which together identify 36 different HPV subtypes, was developed. This protocol could detect presence of HPV DNA in less than 10 ng of DNA of a control cell that contained 1-2 copies of HPV type 16/cell. Before HPV testing the melanoma samples were examined for amplifiable DNA by a beta-microglobulin PCR and 39 were positive. Thirty-five of these could be evaluated for HPV DNA and no samples were positive according to all five defined criteria for HPV positivity although two were positive according to 4/5 criteria. In conclusion, HPV is rarely detected in primary malignant melanomas of non-sun exposed body areas.

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