Papillomaviruses and Cancer of the Upper Digestive and Respiratory Tracts

  • P. J. F. Snijders
  • A. J. C. van den Brule
  • C. J. L. M. Meijer
  • J. M. M. Walboomers
Part of the Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology book series (CT MICROBIOLOGY, volume 186)


At present human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are linked to up to 10% of the worldwide cancer burden, mainly due to their involvement in anogenital cancer. Accumulating experimental data on cervical squamous cell carcinoma strongly support the assumption that certain HPV types have carcinogenic potential and are causally related to cervical cancer (zur Hausen 1991). H PV-16 and HPV-18, the major types associated with cervical cancer, exhibit transforming and immortalizing functions in primary rodent cells and human keratinocytes, respectively (Matlashewski et al. 1987; Pecoraro et al. 1989; Pirisi et al. 1987), and the viral E6 and E7 open reading frames (ORFs) have been found to encode the HPV-transforming proteins (Barbosa and Schlegel 1989; Hawley-Nelson et al. 1989; Münger et al. 1989a). The HPV-16 and HPV-18 E6 and E7 proteins can form complexes with the tumor suppressor gene products p53 and pRB, respectively (Werness et al. 1990; Münger et al. 1989b), which at least in part may explain at what level these HPV types interfere with cell cycle control mechanisms. However, viral E6–E7 functions are not sufficient for the development of malignant growth, and the additional modification of host cell genes by chemical factors has been considered to be important as well (zur Hausen 1982, 1989). Owing to this hypothesis, interest has been provoked for a role of HPV in the pathogenesis of carcinomas within the upper digestive and respiratory tracts since these tumors are known to be related to chemical factors such as tobacco and alcohol. Worldwide, squamous cell carcinoma of the ororespiratory tract, especially that of the lung, is the major form of cancer in humans. Therefore, efforts to study the relationship of specific HPV types with carcinomas of this tract are justified.


Verrucous Carcinoma Laryngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma Laryngeal Papilloma Genomic Southern Blot Analysis Tonsillar Carcinoma 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. J. F. Snijders
    • 1
  • A. J. C. van den Brule
    • 1
  • C. J. L. M. Meijer
    • 1
  • J. M. M. Walboomers
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pathology, Unit of Molecular PathologyFree University HospitalAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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