High-Risk Human Papillomaviruses (HPV) and Epstein - Barr virus (EBV) are Commonly Present in Rectal Cancer
Al Moustafa, Ala‑Eddin
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Background: Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) and Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) are well-established oncoviruses that can be co-present and cooperate in the initiation and/or progression of various human cancers. We recently reported their common co-expression in several cancers including cervical, breast and head and neck carcinomas. In the present study, we explored the co-presence of high-risk HPVs and EBV in a cohort of rectal cancer samples. Design: One-hundred and eight formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue samples of rectal cancer were analyzed for EBV (LMP1) and HPV (E6) using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and immunohistochemistry (IHC) analysis. IHC assays were performed on the tissue microarray platform. Results: All cancers were primary rectal carcinomas (intestinal type) diagnosed in 64 male (59%) and 44 female (41%) patients. The mean patient’s age was 65 years (range, 41-86 years). LMP1 of EBV was detected in 25% of the samples. Various high-risk HPVs were commonly present: HPV16 (55%), HPV31 (54%), HPV18 (50%), HPV51 (47%), HPV52 and 45 (39% each) and HPV35 (26%). The co-presence of LMP1 of EBV and E6 of HPV was detected in 11% of the samples. PCR and IHC data were in good concordance. Conclusion: High-risk HPVs are commonly present in rectal cancers while EBV characterizes 25% of rectal cancers. A proportion of rectal cancers was infected by both EBV and high-risk HPVs. Further studies should elucidate their potential roles in the initiation and/or progression of rectal cancer.
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