Department of Research and Technology Assessment, National Cancer Institute, Bangkok, Thailand
Vulva and Vaginal cancers are rare among all gynecological cancers worldwide, including Thailand, and typically affect women in later life. Persistent high risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) infection is one of several important causes of cancer development. In this study, we focused on HPV investigation and specific type distribution from Thai women with abnormality lesions and cancers of the vulva and Vaginal. A total of ninety paraffin-embedded samples of vulva and Vaginal abnormalities and cancer cells with histologically confirmed were collected from Thai women, who were diagnosed in 2003-2012 at the National Cancer Institute, Thailand. HPV DNA was detected and genotyped using polymerase chain reaction and enzyme immunoassay with GP5/ bio 6 consensus specific primers and digoxigenin-labeled specific oligoprobes, respectively. The human -globin gene was used as an internal control. Overall results represented that HPV frequency was 16/34 (47.1%) and 8/20 (40.0%) samples of vulva with cancer and abnormal cytology lesions, respectively, while, 3/5 (60%) and 16/33 (51.61%) samples of Vaginal cancer and abnormal cytology lesions, respectively, were HPV DNA positive. Single HPV type and multiple HPV type infection could be observed in both type of cancers and abnormal lesion samples in the different histological categorizes. HPV16 was the most frequent type in all cancers and abnormal cytology lesions, whereas HPV 18 was less frequent and could be detected as co-infection with other high risk HPV types. In addition, low risk types such as HPV 6, 11 and 70 could be detected in Vulva cancer and abnormal cytology lesion samples, whereas, all Vaginal cancer samples exhibited only high risk HPV types; HPV 16 and 31. In conclusion, from our results in this study we suggest that women with persistent high risk HPV type infection are at risk of developing vulva and Vaginal cancers and HPV 16 was observed at the highest frequent both of these, similar to the cervical cancer cases. Although the number of samples in this study was limited and might not represent the overall incidence and prevalence in Thai women, but the baseline data are of interest and suggest further study for primary cancer screening and/or developing the efficiency of prophylactic HPV vaccines in Thailand.