OBJECTIVE--To determine the prevalence of HPV 16 and 18 E6 by DNA detection and p53 abnormal protein expression in cervical cancers in Hong Kong. MATERIALS AND METHODS--Seventy-three squamous cell cervical cancer biopsy were analysed. Detection of HPV DNA was carried out by the polymerase chain reaction and Southern blotting (PCR/SB) technique using primers to the HPV16 & 18 E6 region and consensus primers to the L1 region. Abnormal expression of the p53 protein was detected by immunohistochemical staining (IHS) using the antibody CM1 on frozen sections of 55 cervical cancer samples. Forty-six samples were analysed for both the presence of HPV DNA and abnormal expression of p53. RESULTS--67.2% of the 64 samples showed the presence of HPV 16 E6 DNA and 39.1% showed the presence of HPV 18 E6 DNA. 32.8% showed the presence of both HPV 16 and 18 E6 DNA. No HPV DNA was shown in 10.9% of samples. Only 3.6% (2) of 55 samples showed positive IHS with CM1. One occurred in a HPV negative sample and the other in a HPV positive sample. CONCLUSION--A high prevalence of HPV DNA was detected in cervical cancer in Hong Kong using the PCR/SB technique. However, abnormal expression of p53 was uncommon amongst patients with or without HPV 16 or 18 infection.
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