Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology

, Volume 142, Issue 12, pp 2497–2502 | Cite as

Detection of human papillomavirus-16 DNA in archived clinical samples of breast and lung cancer patients from North Pakistan

  • Naureen Ehsan Ilahi
  • Sobia Anwar
  • Mamoona Noreen
  • Shoaib Naiyar Hashmi
  • Sheeba MuradEmail author
Original Article – Cancer Research



Over the past few decades, human papillomavirus (HPV) has been recorded as a key player in the development of various genital cancers, most notably cervical cancer. It has also been associated with some non-genital cancers. A subset of oropharyngeal cancers are known to be caused by HPV. Its aetiological involvement has been suggested for breast and lung cancer as well. However, reports regarding the HPV DNA detection vary widely from different parts of the world. Due to scarcity of local data in this regard, the current study aimed at retrospective detection of HPV presence in the archival samples of breast and lung cancer patients from north part of the country.


A total of 55 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue sections of invasive ductal carcinoma of breast (n = 46) and lung (n = 9) were collected for this study. Genotyping for HPV16 and 18 was carried out through PCR.


HPV16 DNA was found in both breast and lung carcinoma samples with the prevalence rate of 17 and 11 %, respectively. An interesting association was found between ER/PR (Oestrogen/Progesterone receptor) and HER2/Neu (Human epidermal growth factor receptor-2) positivity with HPV occurrence in breast tumours.


Current study shows the presence of HPV16 DNA in archived clinical biopsy sections from breast and lung cancers (17, 11 %), respectively. A positive correlation of HPV16 presence was found with ER/PR and HER2-positive breast cancers. These initial findings warrant further investigation in order to determine HPV prevalence and aetiological role in local cancers, especially in ER/PR/HER2-positive breast cancers on a larger scale.


Human papillomavirus Breast cancer Lung cancer 



We are grateful to the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan, recurring budget of Atta-ur-Rahman School of Applied Biosciences (ASAB), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) and Schlumberger Foundation for their kind support.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

No conflict of interest is declared by the authors.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Naureen Ehsan Ilahi
    • 1
  • Sobia Anwar
    • 1
  • Mamoona Noreen
    • 1
  • Shoaib Naiyar Hashmi
    • 2
  • Sheeba Murad
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Atta-ur-Rahman School of Applied BiosciencesNational University of Science’s and TechnologyIslamabadPakistan
  2. 2.Armed Forces Institute of PathologyRawalpindiPakistan
  3. 3.Institute for Infection and ImmunitySt George’s University of LondonLondonUK

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