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Cancer of the penis and HPV

HPV has been associated with cancer of the penis. For this reason, known cases of HPV infection in men are probably worth treating although cancer of the penis is a relatively rare occurrence. The fact that the prevalence of HPV is higher in noninvasive lesions is most likely due to less of an immune response prior to invasion. When cancer becomes invasive, more HPV virus is exposed to an increasing inflammatory response. This inflammatory response is more likely to permit the development of immunity to HPV. However, once cancer has become invasive it will usually continue to progress even after HPV is eliminated by an immune response to the virus.

J Urol 1995 Sep;154(3):1024-9:

The detection of human papillomavirus deoxyribonucleic acid in intraepithelial, in situ, verrucous and invasive carcinoma of the penis.

Cupp MR, Malek RS, Goellner JR, Smith TF, Espy MJ. Department of Urology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA.

"Purpose: We study the prevalence of human papillomavirus deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in squamous cell carcinoma and control tissue of the penis.

Materials and methods: The technique of polymerase chain reaction DNA amplification was used to detect specific human papillomavirus DNA sequences in archival pathological and control tissues. We analyzed 42 cases of invasive squamous cell carcinoma, 13 of carcinoma in situ, 12 of penile intraepithelial neoplasia, 3 of verrucous carcinoma and 25 of balanitis xerotica obliterans, as well as 29 routine neonatal circumcision specimens and 32 adult circumcision specimens.

Results: Overall, the detection rates for human papillomavirus DNA in the study and control tissues were 55% (23 of 42 cases) for invasive squamous cell carcinoma, 92% (12 of 13) for carcinoma in situ, 92% (11 of 12) for penile intraepithelial neoplasia, 0% (0 of 3) for verrucous carcinoma, 4% (1 of 25) for balanitis xerotica obliterans, 0% (0 of 29) for neonatal circumcision and 9% (3 of 32) for adult circumcision. In all groups human papillomavirus type 16 was the most common genotype identified.

Conclusions: The prevalence of human papillomavirus DNA is significantly greater in carcinoma of the penis than in control tissue. Moreover, the prevalence is greater in noninvasive lesions (carcinoma in situ and penile intraepithelial neoplasia) than in invasive carcinoma."

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