Visalia Times-Delta (04.14.13)
Researchers from Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia report human papillomavirus (HPV) in 6 percent of the tumors found in a small group of nonsmokers (36) who have non-small-cell lung cancer. According to Dr. Ranee Mehra, two strains of the virus known to cause cervical cancer, HPV 16 and HPV 18, had “integrated into the tumors’ DNA,” which strengthens the evidence that HPV caused the lung cancers. Nonsmokers account for approximately 10 percent of the 1 million annual cases of lung cancer in the United States.
Since the study does not prove a cause-and-effect link between HPV and lung cancer, Dr. Mehra stated the next steps will be to confirm the link, then to learn more about the tumors and formulate more effective treatments. The Fox Chase Cancer Center research team will present preliminary results of the study—which has not been published yet in a peer-reviewed journal—at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.