Objectives: Human papilloma virus (HPV) has been repeatedly found in esophageal carcinoma tissues. However, detection rates of HPV DNA in these tumors have varied markedly. Differences in detection methods, sample types and geographic regions of the sample origin have been suggested as potential causes of this discrepancy. This study was undertaken to analyze the prevalence of HPV in esophageal carcinoma. Study Design: HPV L1 DNA was evaluated in a total of 49 esophageal carcinoma samples, including 44 cases of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and 5 cases of adenocarcinoma. Seventeen control samples of esophageal brushings were also analyzed. The HPV L1 fragment was detected using MY09/MY11 primers. Results: In test samples, 17/49 (34.7%) were positive for HPV L1 and, in comparison, none of the control samples were positive. HPV DNA was identified in 17/37 (46%) cases of non-keratinizing SCC and was not identified in any case of esophageal keratinizing SCC and adenocarcinoma. Conclusion: This study defines a significant association of HPV with esophageal non-keratinizing SCC. Our findings raise the possibility that HPV is involved in esophageal carcinogenesis, especially the non-keratinizing type of SCC. Further investigation with a larger sample size over broader geographic areas may be warranted.

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