Background: Carcinomas of esophagus, mostly squamous cell carcinomas, occur throughout the world. There are a number of suspected genetic or environmental etiologies. Human papilloma virus (HPV) is said to be a major etiology in areas with high incidence of esophageal carcinoma, while it is hardly detectable in low incidence regions. This study was designed to evaluate the prevalence of HPV in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) cases diagnosed in Pathology Department, Medical School, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences.
Methods: DNA material for PCR amplification of HPV genome was extracted from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue blocks of 92 cases of ESCC, diagnosed during 20 years from 1982 to 2002. Polymerase chain reaction was performed for amplification and detection of common HPV and type specific HPV-16 and HPV-18 genomic sequences in the presence of positive control (HPV-18 and HPV positive biopsies of uterine exocervix) and additional internal controls i.e. beta-globin and cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA4).
Result: Good amplification of positive control and internal controls was observed. However, no amplification of HPV genome was observed.
Conclusion: There is no association between HPV infection and the development of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma in the cases evaluated.