OBJECTIVES: The present study investigated Human Papillomavirus (HPV) DNA genotyping in primary tumor, pelvic lymph nodes (PLN) and recurrence in early-stage cervical cancer patients.
METHODS: We conducted a hospital-based case-control study. From 2003 to 2015, 282 patients underwent surgery for cervical cancer in the Department of Gynecology, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark. Twenty-nine recurrent cases were identified. HPV DNA genotyping was performed on formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue specimens from the primary tumor, PLN, and recurrent disease.
RESULTS: In the primary tumor, HPV DNA was detectable in 18(72%) of 25 tissue specimens from recurrent cases and in 15(83%) of 18 controls. HPV DNA-positive PLN was significantly associated with recurrence, 83%(95%CI: 52-98%), compared to patients with HPV-negative PLN, 38%(95%CI: 18-62%)(p < 0.05). HPV DNA genotyping was positive in eight of 12(67%) patients with recurrent disease. The genotype was identical in all three tissues types. The positive predictive value for recurrence was the same for detection of HPV-DNA and metastases in the PLN, with reasonable sensitivity. The negative predictive value for recurrence, however, was best for HPV-DNA, 62%(95%CI: 38-98%).
CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, our data suggest that the presence of HPV in pelvic lymph nodes is associated with an increased risk of recurrence.