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Yonsei Med J. 2007 Feb 28;48(1):69-77.

The prevalence of human papillomavirus infection in Korean non-small cell lung cancer patients.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, 134 Shinchon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 120-752, Korea.


Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is a co-carcinogen of lung cancer and contributes to its pathogenesis. To evaluate the prevalence of HPV infection, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was employed to detect HPV 16, 18, and 33 DNA in tumor tissues of 112 patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who underwent curative surgery from Jan. 1995 to Dec. 1998 at Severance Hospital, Seoul, Korea. The patients consisted of 90 men and 22 women. Nineteen patients were under 50 years old (17%), and 92 patients (82%) were smokers. Fifty-three patients had adenocarcinomas, while 59 patients had non-adenocarcinomas. Early stage (I and II) cancer was found in 64 patients (57.1%) and advanced stage (III and IV) found in 48 (42.9%). The prevalence of HPV 16, 18, and 33 were 12 (10.7%), 11 (9.8%), and 37 (33.0%), respectively. Smoking status, sex, and histologic type were not statistically different in the presence of HPV DNA. The presence of HPV 16 was more common in younger patients and HPV 18 was more common in advanced stage patients. This study showed that the prevalence rate of HPV 16 and 18 infections in NSCLC tissue was low, suggesting HPV 16 and 18 infections played a limited role in lung carcinogenesis of Koreans. However, the higher prevalence of HPV 33 infections in Korean lung cancer patients compared to other Asian and Western countries may be important and warrants further investigation.

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