Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and Genital Cancer

C. Rodríguez-Cerdeira*, 1, R. Alcántara2, A. Guerra-Tapia3, J. Escalas4, A. Alba5
1 Dermatology Department, CHUVI & University of Vigo, Vigo, Spain
2 Dermatology Department, Instituto Dermatologico, Santo Domingo, R. Domicana
3 Dermatology Department, Hospital Doce de Octubre, Madrid, Spain
4 Dermatology Department, Hospital Son Dureta, Palma de Mallorca, Spain
5 Centro de Estudios Celulares y Moleculares, Lugo, Spain

© 2009 Rodríguez-Cerdeira et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Dermatology, CHUVI, Meixoeiro Hospital & University of Vigo, 36200 Vigo (Galicia), Spain; Tel: 00-34-600536114; Fax: 00-34-986-276416;;


Epidemiological relationships were established more than 100 years ago between precursory lesions of cervical cancer and risky sexual behaviour. For various decades medicine has, unsuccessfully, tried to find the relationships between the agents responsible for sexually transmitted infections with this neoplasia.

Thus, epidemiological studies supported by liquid cytological and molecular techniques have confirmed the role of certain strains of human papilloma virus (HPV) in the development of cervical, vulvar and vaginal cancer. It has been shown that, in an international series using high PCR, 90.7% of cervical-uterine carcinomas have DNA from HPV, and, 100% of the cases have been confirmed with exhaustive histological examinations, and in the majority of the intraepithelial lesions of the lower genital tract.

Persistent infection with high-risk HPV-types is associated with genital cancers. Smoking and HIV infection have consistently been associated with longer duration of HPV infection and risk for genital cancer.

We present the most important clinical manifestations of HPV infection within the spectrum of epithelial anomalies, considered as precursors or pre-colonizers of genital cancer and an update of their possible treatments.

Keywords: HPV, high risk HPV, genital cancer.