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Curr Probl Dermatol. 2014;45:216-24. doi: 10.1159/000358408. Epub 2014 Mar 13.

Management of human papillomavirus-related gynecological malignancies.

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Gynecological Cancer Center, Women's University Hospital, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland.


Human papillomavirus (HPV) infections affect women in every age group and in various benign, premalignant as well as malignant gynecological conditions. As a benign condition, condylomata acuminata of the whole female genital tract can be observed, transmitted by low risk HPV types 6 and 11, whilst dysplastic changes of the vulva appear as vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia, of the vagina as vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia and of the cervix as cervical intraepithelial neoplasia, and are caused by high risk HPV types most notably 16 and 18. These dysplastic changes give rise to precursor lesions of vulvar and cervical cancer, both driven via immune regression and potentially hormonal changes by promoting the malignant transformation profile of HPV subtypes. Attributes which can support this process are smoking, immunodeficiency, vitamin deficiency, stress, vaginal infections and hormonal influence. The causal relationship between persistent infection with high-risk HPV genotypes and vulvar and cervical cancer has been clearly demonstrated and is stronger than the relationship observed between smoking and lung cancer. New global cancer prevention can be envisaged by implementing vaccination against HPV in young women, with 2 vaccines currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration: the quadrivalent Gardasil (HPV-6, -11, -16, -18) and the bivalent Cervarix (HPV-16, -18).

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