Department of Urology, Örebro University Hospital Department of Laboratory Medicine/Pathology, Örebro University Hospital School of Health and Medical Sciences, Örebro University, Örebro Department of Clinical Microbiology/Virology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham & Women's Hospital, and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
Study Type - Aetiology (case series)?Level of Evidence 4 OBJECTIVE: To analyse the overall and type-specific human papillomavirus (HPV) prevalence and distribution in penile carcinoma and determine the correlation to histopathological parameters. PATIENTS AND METHODS: In this retrospective study, we analysed HPV status in 241 patients with penile carcinoma, treated at Örebro University Hospital, Örebro, Sweden, between 1984 and 2008. Age and date at diagnosis was recorded. The tumour specimens were categorized according to the UICC 2002 TNM classification. A subset of patients was operatively staged with regard to lymph node status. A commercially available Real Time PCR was used to detect 13 different types of HPV (6,11,16,18,31,33,35,45,51,52,56,58 and 59). RESULTS: We excluded 25 patients due to low DNA quality. Of the remaining 216, 179 (82.9%) tumour specimens were HPV infected. The majority of cases positive for HPV (70.4%) were infected by a single-type. The most frequent type was HPV 16 followed by HPV 18. No significant association between HPV status and pathological tumour stage, grade or lymph node status was found. CONCLUSION: The HPV prevalence found is higher than in most other studies, further strengthening HPV as an etiological agent in penile carcinoma. Furthermore, the high prevalence of HPV 16 and 18 raises the question of what potential impact current HPV vaccines that target these specific HPV types might have on penile carcinoma. No significant association between HPV status and histopathological parameters was found in the present study. Additional investigations are needed to draw final conclusions on the prognostic value of HPV status in penile carcinoma.