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Background: Human papilloma viruses (HPVs) may act early in breast oncogenesis ( “hit-and-run” phenomena).
Methods: The authors used immunohistochemistry for the identification of HPV E7 oncogenic protein expression in 32 sets of benign and subsequent breast cancer specimens from the same Australian patients.
Results: HPV E7 oncoprotein was clearly expressed in the nuclei of 23 (72%) of the 32 benign specimens and 20 (62.5%) of the subsequent 32 breast cancer specimens in the same patients. There was no HPV E7 protein expression in seven (30%) of the 23 breast cancer specimens that had prior HPV E7 protein-positive benign breast biopsies in the same patients.
Conclusions: This observation suggests that HPV oncogenic influences occur early in some breast cancers. This finding confirms the previous observations. This early influence of HPVs may be the reason why there is no increase in the prevalence of HPV-associated breast cancer in immunocompromised patients as compared to HPV-associated cervical cancer.
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