Objective: To describe the HPV genotype distribution and to investigate the underlying secular trend in the relative contribution of HPV types 16-18 in invasive cervical cancer (ICC) over a period of 47 years (1958-2004) in South Korea.
Methods: Paraffin embedded ICC samples were obtained from historical archives of two hospitals in Korea. HPV detection and genotyping was performed by SPF10 PCR, DEIA and LiPA25 assays (version 1).
Results: Of 874 ICC cases, 742 were considered suitable for HPV DNA testing after histological evaluation. Squamous cell carcinoma was the major histological type (93.0%). HPV was detected in 674 of the 742 specimens (90.8%). The five most common types identified as single types among HPV-positive cases were HPV16 (63.1%), HPV18 (8.5%), HPV33 (4.5%), HPV58 (3.9%) and HPV31 (3.0%). Multiple infections were detected in 5%. HPV16-18 together accounted for 72% of all HPV-positive cervical cancers with no statistically significant differences by time at diagnosis (adjusted model-p>0.05).
Conclusion: This present study confirmed the role of HPV infection as the main factor in cervical cancer in Korea. HPV16-18 accounted for more than 70% in cervical cancer and there was no statistically significant secular trend for the past 50 years.