Immunopathological study of hPV, p53 and c-erb-2 expression in Verrucous Carcinoma of the female genital system.Pathology Dpt, Areteion Hospital, Athens University, Athens-Greece.
Our aim is to investigate the pathogenetic role of hPV as well as the expression of certain cellular oncogenes such as p53 and c-erb-2, in the verrucous carcinomas of the female genital system, rare epidermoid tumors with distinct morphology and specific therapy. Method. Five cases of vulvar and one case of endometrial verrucous cancer were investigated for hPV by in situ hybridization. The immunohistochemical expression of p53 (skytek Do7) and c-erb-2 (cb11, Novokastra) was investigated by a streptavidin-viotin method. Results. All patients were postmenopausal (65-82 yrs). The tumors were large fungating masses, 2.5-3.8 cms in diameter, with distinct histological verrucous morphology. All vulvar tumors were widely excised, no other therapy was given and the patients are well 3 years after surgery. The patient with the uterine tumor underwent adjuvant chemotherapy and died a year later by unrelated causes. In 3/5 vulvar tumors a positive reaction for hPV, types 31-33 was found. In 2/5 vulvar tumors and in the uterine tumor a positive reaction for hPV types 31-33 was found. No expression of p53 suppressor gene or of c-erb-2 oncogene was found. In conclusion, there is evidence that hPV is implicated in the pathogenesis of verrucous cancer of the female genital system. The interaction between hPV sequences and certain cellular oncogenes such as p53 and c-erb-2 needs further clarification.
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Paper presented at the International Symposium on Predictive Oncology and Intervention Strategies; Paris, France; February 9 - 12, 2002; in the section on Viral Oncogenesis.