Human papillomavirus (HPV) can pass from the mother to the child at delivery. It is a sexually transmitted viral disease. If a vaccine were developed to prevent HPV infection, it could prevent related cancers. At this time, vaccines “have promise”.
There are at least 100 types of HPV known. Some of these are known risk factors for cervical cancer. As well, HPV is suspected to be a risk factor for upper digestive cancers. The authors studied oral and esophageal cancers for HPV involvement in three different locations: Japan, Pakistan and Colombia.
The patients with oral and esophageal cancers had their tumors tested for HPV and subtypes. (HPV16 is the most common type worldwide.) The tumor tissue was tested for HPV DNA, and extensive DNA testing was done.
“In total, HPV was detected in 56% and 19% of squamous cell carcinomas of the oral cavity and esophagus, respectively, in cases selected from Japan, Pakistan and Colombia.” Results varied little in the three countries. HPV16 was the most frequent type, and there were no sexual differences.
CONCLUSION: HPV infection appears to be a risk factor for oral cancer. “The present study cannot deny a possibility of HPV16 involvement in the development of esophageal cancer.”
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