Association between HPV infection and prostate cancer in a Mexican population

Abstract The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between prostate cancer (PCa) and Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in the Mexican population. We studied 356 paraffin-embedded tissues from unrelated Mexican men with PCa or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), with the latter serving as control. HPV detection was performed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using universal primers, and viral genotypes were detected using sequencing or multiplex PCR. Light microscopy analyses enabled the identification of koilocytes in samples subsequently analyzed for HPV detection by in situ PCR and for p16-INK4A expression by immunohistochemistry. The results showed that high risk- (HR) HPVs were detected in 37/189 (19.6%) PCa specimens compared to 16/167 (9.6%) of BHP specimens (odds ratio 2.3; 95% CI= 1.2 to 4.3; p=0.01). These data suggest HR-HPV may play a role in PCa. HPV 52 and 58 were the most frequent genotypes (33 and 17%, respectively) detected in the population studied. Koilocytes were detected in all in situ PCR-HPV-positive samples, representing a pathognomonic feature of infection, and we observed the overexpression of p16-INK4A in HPV-positive samples compared to HPV-negative samples, indirectly suggesting the presence of HR-HPV E7 oncoprotein. These results suggest that HPV infection plays an important role in prostate cancer development.