Lung cancer risk rises in the presence of HPV antibodies

Apr 04, 2011

Researchers with the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) have found that people with lung cancer were significantly more likely to have several high-risk forms of human papillomavirus (HPV) antibodies compared to those who did not have lung cancer. These results, which were presented at the AACR 102nd Annual Meeting 2011, held April 2-6, indicate that HPV antibodies are substantially increased in people with lung cancer.

Devasena Anantharaman, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow in the Genetic Epidemiology Group at the IARC in Lyon, France, and colleagues used serological tests to determine the presence of several high-risk and low-risk types of HPV in 1,633 lung cancer cases and 2,729 matched controls from six central European countries. Among the lung-cancer-free controls, researchers found a low prevalence of antibodies to all types of HPV tested. In lung cancer patients, antibodies to proteins in eight types of high-risk HPV were significantly increased.

Smoking, which is the strongest risk factor for lung cancer, did not account for this effect. The results were consistent in current smokers, former smokers and those who never smoked.

"While a number of previous studies have demonstrated the presence of HPV in lung cancer, their statistical power has been limited by small average sample size and variations in methodology," said Anantharaman. "We know that HPV can reach the lung, but whether HPV can cause frank malignancies is a question we hope to answer."

High-risk HPV types HPV16 and HPV18 together account for about 70 percent of cervical cancers. Low-risk types, such as HPV6 and HPV11, which cause benign conditions such as genital warts, have also been observed in respiratory papillomatosis, a benign lung condition.

"In the general population HPV is quite common, particularly among young adults 20 to 25 years of age," said Anantharaman. "We expect to see some seropositivity for antibodies to the L1 protein in the general population. But, the early proteins E6 and E7 of high-risk HPV are markers of carcinogenic transformation. These were significantly more prevalent in patients."

Explore further: Chronic inflammation linked to 'high-grade' prostate cancer

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Viruses may play a role in lung cancer development

Apr 25, 2008

Papers presented at the 1st European Lung Cancer Conference, jointly organized by the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) and the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) in Geneva, Switzerland ...

New HPV vaccine under study

Nov 19, 2007

A new vaccine against nine of the most harmful strains of human papillomavirus is under study at the Medical College of Georgia.

Study explores attitudes and beliefs about HPV

Mar 01, 2007

The most common sexually transmitted virus in the US is genital human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, with 20 million Americans currently infected and another 6.2 million becoming infected each year. Although HPV causes serious ...

Recommended for you

Unraveling the 'black ribbon' around lung cancer

Apr 17, 2014

It's not uncommon these days to find a colored ribbon representing a disease. A pink ribbon is well known to signify breast cancer. But what color ribbon does one think of with lung cancer?

User comments : 0

More news stories

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Study says we're over the hill at 24

(Medical Xpress)—It's a hard pill to swallow, but if you're over 24 years of age you've already reached your peak in terms of your cognitive motor performance, according to a new Simon Fraser University study.

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.