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Front Oncol. 2014 Feb 5;4:9. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2014.00009. eCollection 2014.

Human papillomavirus genotype prevalence in invasive penile cancers from a registry-based United States population.

Author information

  • 1University of Hawaii Cancer Center, University of Hawaii , Honolulu, HI , USA.
  • 2Division of High-Consequence Pathogens and Pathology, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , Atlanta, GA , USA.
  • 3Department of Epidemiology, College of Public Health, The University of Iowa , Iowa City, IA , USA.
  • 4Departments of Preventive Medicine and Pathology, USC Keck School of Medicine, Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Southern California , Los Angeles, CA , USA.
  • 5Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center , New Orleans, LA , USA.
  • 6Department of Pathology, Immunology, and Laboratory Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Florida , Gainesville, FL , USA.
  • 7Michigan Department of Community Health , Lansing, MI , USA.
  • 8Department of Epidemiology, College of Public Health, University of Kentucky , Lexington, KY , USA.
  • 9Florida Department of Health , Tallahassee, FL , USA.
  • 10Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention, and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , Atlanta, GA , USA.
  • 11Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute , Rockville, MD , USA.
  • 12Battelle Memorial Institute , Durham, NC , USA.



Human papillomavirus (HPV) is estimated to play an etiologic role in 40-50% of penile cancers worldwide. Estimates of HPV prevalence in U.S. penile cancer cases are limited.


HPV DNA was evaluated in tumor tissue from 79 invasive penile cancer patients diagnosed in 1998-2005 within the catchment areas of seven U.S. cancer registries. HPV was genotyped using PCR-based Linear Array and INNO-LiPA assays and compared by demographic, clinical, and pathologic characteristics and survival. Histological classification was also obtained by independent pathology review.


HPV DNA was present in 50 of 79 (63%) of invasive penile cancer cases. Sixteen viral genotypes were detected. HPV 16, found in 46% (36/79) of all cases (72% of HPV-positive cases) was the most prevalent genotype followed equally by HPV 18, 33, and 45, each of which comprised 5% of all cases. Multiple genotypes were detected in 18% of viral positive cases. HPV prevalence did not significantly vary by age, race/ethnicity, population size of geographic region, cancer stage, histology, grade, penile subsite, or prior cancer history. Penile cases diagnosed in more recent years were more likely to be HPV-positive. Overall survival did not significantly vary by HPV status.


The relatively high prevalence of HPV in our study population provides limited evidence of a more prominent and, possibly, increasing role of infection in penile carcinogenesis in the U.S. compared to other parts of the world.


HPV; United States; human papillomavirus; penile cancer; prevalence

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