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Br J Cancer. 2007 Jul 2;97(1):85-91. Epub 2007 Jun 19.

Human papillomavirus-16 is integrated in lung carcinomas: a study in Chile.

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Division of Oncogenic and Persistent Viruses, Center for Chronic Viral Diseases, Kagoshima University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, 8-35-1 Sakuragaoka, Kagoshima, 890-8544, Japan.


The human papillomavirus (HPV) was detected in 20 (29%) out of 69 lung carcinomas (LCs) in Chile, by PCR and Southern blot, and was more frequently detected in squamous cell carcinoma (SQC) than in adenocarcinomas (46 vs 9%, P=0.001). HPV-16, positive in 11 cases, was the most frequently detected HPV genotype determined by DNA sequencing. HPV-16 E2/E6 ratio, estimated from real-time PCR analysis, was much lower than the unity, suggesting that at least a partial HPV-16 genome was integrated in all but one HPV-16-positive SQCs. The remaining one case was suspected to have only episomal HPV-16. Although the viral load was low in most of the LCs, a case showed the HPV-16 copy number as high as 8479 per nanogram DNA, which was even a few times higher than the minimum viral load of seven cervical carcinomas (observed viral load: 3356-609 392 per nanogram DNA). The expression of the HPV-16/18 E6 protein was found in only two HPV-16-positive SQCs (13%) but not in the case with the highest viral load. Although the viral load was in general very low and HPV E6 expression is none or weak, further studies seem warranted to examine aetiological involvement of high-risk HPV in lung carcinogenesis.

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