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S. Krishnakumar, A. Mohan, M. Kandalam, N. Venkatesan, J. Biswas, V. Khetan, T. Sharma, L. Gopal; A Pilot Study on the Expression of Human Papilloma Virus Genome in Asian Indian Retinoblastoma. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):1591.
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The incidence of cervical cancer in India is high. Human papilloma virus (HPV) 16 is the commonest type, followed by HPV 18, identified in cervical cancer in India. Recently studies show that the incidence of sporadic retinoblastoma (RB) is high in countries with increased cervical cancer. There is no information on the HPV status in the tumor samples of Indian patients with RB. We studied the presence of HPV genome in tumors samples obtained from patients with unilateral RB.
Forty-four fresh unilateral RB tumor samples were analyzed for the presence of HPV 16 and 18 genome by nested and semi-nested PCR. Tumor tissue sections were also used to assess the expression of the retinoblastoma protein using mouse monoclonal antibody (IF-8) which detects both phosphorylated and unphosphorylated Rb protein. Among the 44 tumor samples, there were 23 tumors with invasion of optic nerve/choroid and 21 tumors with no invasion.
HPV DNA was present in 21/44 (47%) RB tumors. Among 21 unilateral RB tumors that were positive for HPV DNA, HPV 16 was detected in 12/21 (57%) tumors. However, HPV 18 was negative in all the tumors. Rb protein was absent in 16 (71%) of 21 tumors that had HPV DNA and absent in 20 (86%) of 23 tumors that were HPV negative. There was no correlation between the HPV expression and age at diagnosis/invasion/differentiation of the tumors.
Our study shows the expression of HPV DNA and subtype HPV16 in a proportion of the unilateral RB tumors. However, further studies are needed to identify other HPV subtypes in the tumor samples and the role played by HPV in the oncogenesis of RB in Asian Indian children
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