To provide an accurate evaluation of the association of human papillomavirus (HPV) with lung cancer, 36 cases of lung cancer were analysed for HPV DNAs by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with dot-blot and Southern blot analyses, and for the transcripts from the E6-E7 transforming region by in situ hybridisation (ISH). HPV-18 DNA was detected in three (8%) of 36 specimens; histologically, in one (10%) of 10 squamous cell carcinomas and two (9%) of 22 adenocarcinomas. Neither HPV-16 nor -33 DNA was detected in any cases examined. Expression of E6-E7 mRNA was confirmed in the cases which contained, HPV-18 DNA. HPV-18 may play an important role in the development and progression of cancer in some cases of both squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma of the lung.
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