OBJECTIVE: The objective was to evaluate the role of human papillomavirus (HPV) in the pathogenesis of papillary squamous cell carcinoma (PSCC) of the cervix and to determine cell proliferative activity and p53 abnormalities in these rare variants of cervical cancer. METHODS: Twelve examples of PSCC of the cervix were diagnosed between 1990 and 1999. Formalin-fixed paraffin sections of each tumor were stained by immunoperoxidase method using antibodies to p53 gene product (CM-10) and Ki-67 (MIB-1). In situ hybridization for HPV DNA (ENZO) was used to detect specific sequences of DNA shared by most types of genital HPV, followed by confirmatory PCR analysis. The nuclear staining for Ki-67 was graded as minimal (<10% of cells), moderate (between 10 and 50% of cells), and high (>50% of cells). RESULTS: Fifty-percent of the tumors showed presence of HPV DNA. Three tumors (25%) showed nuclear accumulation of p53. Moderate and high proliferative activity was observed in four and eight of tumors, respectively. Eight patients presented with stage IB1 tumor (67%), 3 with stage IA1 tumor (25%), and 1 with stage IIIA tumor (8%). Eleven patients (92%) were alive as of last contact with a mean follow-up of 34.2 months (range: 5 days to 84 months). CONCLUSION: In this series of patient, PSCC of the uterine cervix had a low rate of HPV DNA in their genome and a low rate of p53 gene abnormality. These genotypic differences may explain the differences between the clinical behavior of PSCC and the common types of squamous cell carcinomas of the cervix.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology