A high association of oncogenic human papillomaviruses with carcinomas of the female urethra: polymerase chain reaction-based analysis of multiple histological types.
Using polymerase chain reaction with type-specific human papillomavirus type 16 and 18 primers, and general primers screening for 9 other genotypes, we analyzed archival surgical specimens of urethral carcinoma from 18 women (17 with invasive cancer and 1 with carcinoma in situ). Human papillomavirus was detected in invasive urethral carcinoma specimens from 10 of 17 women (59%) and in the patient with carcinoma in situ. Human papillomavirus type 16 was found in 8 patients with invasive carcinoma (47%) and 1 with carcinoma in situ, and general primer polymerase chain reaction demonstrated human papillomavirus that could not be typed in 2 patients (12%). Type 16 was detected in metastases from 4 patients; complete concordance for the presence of human papillomavirus in primary and metastatic disease was noted. Eight of 10 women with squamous cell carcinoma and both with transitional cell carcinoma harbored human papillomavirus; 5 women with undifferentiated carcinoma or adenocarcinoma were all negative for human papillomavirus. Concurrently excised cervical tissue was available from 5 patients; 1 had cervical carcinoma in situ positive for human papillomavirus of the same type as the urethral carcinoma. These findings strongly suggest that human papillomavirus, particularly type 16, is associated with a substantial number of carcinomas of the female urethra but a stratification of specific histotypes associated with human papillomavirus may exist.
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