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Multicenter Study of the Association between Betapapillomavirus Infection and Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Multicenter Study of the Association between Betapapillomavirus Infection and Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma

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  • Jan Nico Bouwes Bavinck
  • Rachel E. Neale
  • Damiano Abeni
  • Sylvie Euvrard
  • Adele C. Green
  • Catherine A. Harwood
  • Maurits N. C. de Koning
  • Luigi Naldi
  • Ingo Nindl
  • Michael Pawlita
  • Herbert Pfister
  • Charlotte M. Proby
  • Wim G. V. Quint
  • Jan ter Schegget
  • Tim Waterboer
  • Soenke Weissenborn
  • Mariet C. W. Feltkamp

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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Research
Journal publication date1 Dec 2010


Human papillomaviruses (betaPV) from the beta genus cannot be classified according to their oncogenicity due to a paucity of information. This study evaluates the association between betaPV infection and cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma in conjunction with measures of UV exposure and susceptibility. We performed case-control studies in the Netherlands, Italy, and Australia, countries with profoundly different UV exposures. The presence of 25 betaPV types in eyebrow hair follicles was determined using a highly sensitive HPV DNA genotyping assay, and antibodies for the 15 most prevalent betaPV types in a total of 689 squamous cell carcinoma cases and 845 controls were detected using multiplex serology. Multivariate logistic regression models were used for case-control comparisons and interaction analyses. BetaPV DNA was detected in eyebrow hairs of more than 90% of all participants. The presence of betaPV DNA was associated with an increased risk of squamous cell carcinoma in the Netherlands (OR 2.8; 95% CI 1.3-5.8) and Italy (OR 1.7; 95% CI 0.79-3.6), but not in Australia (OR 0.91; 95% CI 0.53-1.6). Seropositivity for betaPV in controls ranged between 52% and 67%. A positive antibody response against 4 or more betaPV types was associated with squamous cell carcinoma in Australia (OR 2.2; 95% CI 1.4-3.3), the Netherlands (OR 2.0; 95% CI 1.2-3.4) and fair-skinned Italians (OR 1.6, 95% CI 0.94-2.7). The association between UV susceptibility and squamous cell carcinoma was stronger in betaPV-seropositive people. These combined data support the hypothesis that betaPV may play a role in the development of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. Cancer Res; 70(23); 9777-86. (C)2010 AACR.


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