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Colorectal Dis. 2011 Aug;13(8):865-71. doi: 10.1111/j.1463-1318.2010.02335.x. Epub 2010 May 28.

Prevalence of human papillomavirus in Chinese patients with colorectal cancer.

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State Key Laboratory for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Disease, the First Affiliated Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.



The prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV) was determined in Chinese patients with colorectal cancer (CRC). The study also aimed to determine whether the HPV DNA peripheral blood (PB) assay can be used to diagnose HPV-related CRC.


Tumour tissue, noncancerous colorectal tissue and whole-blood samples were obtained from 96 patients with CRC. In addition, 32 colorectal tissue samples were harvested from patients without CRC, and 48 whole-blood samples were collected from healthy blood donors. HPV DNA was detected by means of a nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using consensus primers, and HPV genotypes were determined by reverse Southern blot and pyrosequencing.


HPV DNA was detected in 32 of the 96 patients with CRC, and colorectal tissues from the 32 control patients without CRC were negative for HPV DNA (P < 0.001). Among 48 healthy donors, three had detectable levels of HPV DNA in their PB. Patients with CRC did not have significantly higher levels of HPV DNA than controls. The HPV prevalence in tumour tissues was higher than that in noncancerous colorectal tissues (P < 0.001) or that in PB samples (P < 0.001). No correlation between the presence of HPV and demographic or medical characteristics was observed. HPV 16 was the viral type most frequently detected and was found in 33 (94%) of 35 HPV-positive patients.


HPV infection may be a risk factor for CRC. However, detection of HPV DNA in PB does not appear to reflect the HPV status of CRC.

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