Objective: To investigate the clinical and prognostic significance of human papillomavirus (HPV) in a Chinese population of cervical cancers. Methods: We studied 121 cervical cancer tissue samples from patients treated at our hospital. Identification and typing of HPV were done by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using consensus primers MY11 and MY09 followed by direct DNA sequencing. The results were correlated with various clinical and prognostic parameters. Results: We found HPV DNA in 95 (78.5%) cases, including HPV-16 in 59 (48.8%) and HPV-18 in 14 (11.6%) cases. χ2 analysis revealed no significant correlation between the presence of HPV DNA and age at diagnosis, clinical stage, histologic type, tumor grading, 2-year and 5-year survival rate. Of the factors evaluated, age at diagnosis and histologic type were found to have a statistically significant relationship with HPV type. The mean age of the HPV-18 group was 48.6 years compared to 57.1 years for the HPV-16 group (p = 0.045) and 58.2 years for the HPV-negative group (p = 0.04). HPV-18 was detected more often in adenocarcinomas (AC) than in squamous cell carcinomas (SCC). Conversely HPV-16 was detected significantly more often in SCC (p < 0.0001). The HPV-negative group also had a higher incidence of SCC (p = 0.007). HPV-18-positive patients seemed to have more nodal involvement than both HPV-16-positive patients (45.5 vs. 20.8%) and HPV-negative patients (45.5 vs. 18.2%); however, it did not reach statistical significance. Conclusions: These observations suggest that the presence of HPV DNA does not bear any clinical or prognostic significance in a Chinese population of cervical cancers. HPV-18 is found more often in younger patients and is associated with AC.

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