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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Urology 1/2015

Prevalence of human papillomavirus in penile malignant tumors: viral genotyping and clinical aspects

BMC Urology > Ausgabe 1/2015
Isaura Danielli Borges de Sousa, Flávia Castello Branco Vidal, João Paulo Castello Branco Vidal, George Castro Figueira de Mello, Maria do Desterro Soares Brandão Nascimento, Luciane Maria Oliveira Brito
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

IDBS, FCBV and JPCBV performed the experiments under the supervision of MDSBN and LMOB. GCFM was the pathologist responsible for penile cancer identification. All the authors analyzed and interpreted the data. IDBS and FCBV wrote the manuscript draft, which was read and edited by all the authors. All authors read and approved the final version of the manuscript.



The human papillomavirus (HPV) prevalence in males has been reported to be between 3.6% and 84%, depending specially on the socioeconomic status. HPV infection has been related as a risk factor for penile cancer. This is a rare tumor, and other risk factors include lack of personal hygiene and men who have not undergone circumcision. Penile cancer is less than 1% of cancers in men in the United States, however, is much more common in some parts of Asia, Africa, and South America, where it accounts for up to 10% of cancers in men. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of HPV-DNA in penile cancers in São Luís, Brazil and to correlate the virus presence to histopathological factors.


Tumor paraffin samples of 76 patients with penile carcinoma were tested in order to establish the prevalence and distribution of genotypic HPV using PCR/Nested and automated sequencing. To evaluate the association between HPV types and other clinical and morphological variables, a nonparametric ANOVA was performed using a Kruskal Wallis test, and statistical significance was determined to a value of p < 0.05.


The average age of patients at the time of diagnosis was 66 years ± 17.10. Regarding location, 65.79% of the tumors were located in the glans, and the most common types were vegetative (34.21%) and squamous (98.68%). Most of the lesions ranged in size from 2.1 to 5.0 cm, presenting Jackson I stage and Broders II degree. It was observed that 32 patients had at least one invaded and/or infiltrated structure. Lymph node involvement was observed in 19.76% of the patients, and 21.05% showed an inflammatory process. In the molecular evaluation, HPV infection was observed in 63.15% of the lesions, and the most common type was HPV 16.


From the statistical analysis, it can be verified that the variables were not associated with infection by the HPV virus. Although penile cancer can result from various risk factors that act in synergy, an HPV virus infection is important for the development of such neoplasm.
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