A retrospective seroepidemiologic study was performed to examine the association between human papillomaviruses (HPV) 16 infection and carcinomas of the oropharynx, the oesophagus, penis and vagina. Sera were selected from the serum bank from the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital (Netherlands Cancer Institute) and the Slotervaart Hospital in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Presence of HPV 16 specific antibody was assessed using HPV 16 L1 capsids. Sera positive for HPV 16 capsid antibody were further tested for antibody against HPV 16 E7 peptides. Prevalence of antibody against H PV 16 L1 capsids among both the negative control group without cancer and the negative control group with gastric cancer was 18%, while seroprevalence among the control group of patients with HPV-associated cervical squamous cell carcinoma was 47% (P < 0.001). Among the patients with penile squamous cell carcinoma seroprevalence was 38% (P < 0.001), among patients with oropharyngeal carcinoma 33% (P = 0.04) and among patients with oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma 14% (P = 0.7). The serological evidence for association between HPV 16 infection and both oropharyngeal carcinoma and penile carcinoma was established. The conclusion that no association was found between the presence of antibody against HPV 16 L1 capsids and oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma was in accordance with results of other studies carried out in the Netherlands using HPV DNA technology. In the subjects with HPV 16 L1 capsid antibody, no association was found between the antibody against HPV 16 E7 and clinical outcome.

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doi.org/10.1038/sj.bjc.6600870, hdl.handle.net/1765/68338
British Journal of Cancer
Department of Virology