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Human Papillomavirus (HPV) in Breast Tumors - Coursework Example

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Human papillomavirus types 16 and 18 have been implicated in the development of cervical cancers. To protect women from this disease, HPV vaccines have already been developed, and getting it is already being advised to women, especially to those at risk. With the growing number of women afflicted with breast cancer, there is great demand for determining a possible cure for such disease…
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Human Papillomavirus (HPV) in Breast Tumors
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Download file to see previous pages Thus, there is still an ongoing debate as to whether HPV causes breast cancer, and whether HPV vaccines can be used against it as well. Let’s look at two journal articles, published in year 2011, to exemplify such issue. Different Findings In the study of Antonsson et al. (2011), the prevalence of HPV in breast cancer tissue was determined through polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis and sequencing. Briefly, tissue samples were obtained from each of the fifty-four different fresh frozen breast cancer tissues obtained from surgeries at Wesley Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia between 2003 and 2007. The median age of these patients were 57 years old, with the age range of 31-88 years. 59% were post-menopausal, 63% were node-negative, and their mean tumour size was 24.3mm. According to the authors, this meant that HPV infection of breast cancer or HPV as an etiological agent decrease the metastatic potential of the tumour. To detect HPV, each sample was mixed with HPV general and type 18-specific primer pairs FAP59/FAP 64. After PCR, amplified products were analyzed using 1.5% agarose gel electrophoresis. 50% of the samples were found to be HPV-positive, specifically of HPV type 18, although the strains were different. Upon analyzing further, HPV-positive breast cancer patients (mean age = 50 y. o.) were found to be younger than the whole group, and HPV positive tumours were also found to be smaller than the others. Histologically, HPV positive samples (96.3%) were more likely to be ductal than HPV negative ones (85.2%). Aside from PCR, an in situ hybridization was also performed using INFORM® HPV III Family 16 Probe (B) (Roche Ventana Medical System, Tucson, Arizona) that can detect 16 different cancer-causing HPV types (HPV 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59, 66, 68, 73, and 82). However, no HPV were found in the samples using this method. The authors attributed this to the lower sensitivity of in situ hybridization as compared to PCR. Despite the results, the authors however recognized that their findings failed to determine whether the virus actually caused the breast cancer or it was just a chance passage for all 27 cases. As well, the potential mechanism behind the presence of HPV in the breast was still unanswered. A similar study was also conducted in India by Hedau et al. (2011). Breast tissue and blood samples from two hundred fifty two (252) breast cancer patients were analyzed through PCR using the general MY09/11, GP5+/GP6+ and type 16 specific E6/E7 as primers. The age of the participants were 51.5 ± 16.7, with a range of 25-80 years. 38% were postmenopausal. However, unlike that of Antonnson, the results of Hedau’s experiments showed absence of HPV DNA in breast cancer tissues. Social Implications In comparing the results of other similar studies conducted in different countries, Hedau et al. (2011) found that the breast tissue samples of a portion of breast cancer patients from Italy, Sweden, China, Brazil, Austria, USA, Greece, Australia, Turkey, Japan, and Mexico were positive in HPV, with China and Mexico having more established results as more than one study have arrived at the same outcome of some breast cancer tissues being HPV-positive. On the other hand, studies in UK, India, Switzerland and France did not find HPV in breast ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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