HPV, Polyomavirus Infections Likely Minor Bladder Cancer Contributors, Study Suggests

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Neither the human papillomavirus (HPV) nor the human polyomavirus (HPyV) appear to be common contributors to urothelial bladder carcinoma (UBC) development, according to a genetic screen by a team from the UK and the Netherlands.

As they reported online yesterday in Scientific Reports, the researchers used quantitative PCR to screen for the BK virus (BKV), JC virus (JCV), or other polyomaviruses, and for the high-risk HPV types HPV16 and HPV18 in DNA extracted from almost 700 UBC tumors. Their analyses uncovered HPV16 in less than 1 percent of the tumors, while HPV18 DNA did not turn up in any of the tumor samples.

HPyVs were a bit more common, appearing in some 7 percent of the bladder cancer cases considered, including 23 BKV-positive samples and half a dozen samples with confirmed JCV. And the HPyV-positive samples appeared to show enhanced T antigen expression relative to HPyV-negative samples. Even so, the team concluded these viruses were not common enough to account for most UBC cases.

“Although our results cannot completely exclude a causative role for these viruses in the pathogenesis of UBC, it is clear that high levels of virus are not persistent driving factors in UBC,”

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