Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Human papillomavirus, Epstein-Barr virus, and cervical carcinoma in Greenland
  1. U. HØRDING*,
  2. S. DAUGAARD and
  3. J. E. BOCK*
  1. *Departments of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  2. Pathology, Rigshospitalet, University Hospital, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
  1. Address for correspondence: Ulla Hørding, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Y 4031, Rigshospitalet, Blegdamsvej 9, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark.


The incidence of cervical cancer in Greenland is one of the highest in the world. This is in accordance with known epidemiologic risk factors, in particular of sexual lifestyle and tobacco smoking. Yet a recent study of cervical smears from randomly selected Greenlandic women failed to demonstrate any elevated prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV), of which particularly HPV types 16 and 18 are assumed to play a role in the development of cervical dysplasia and carcinoma. Another oncogenic virus, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is known to be widespread in the Greenlandic population and the virus has been reported to infect the female genital tract. We therefore used the polymerase chain reaction to examine paraffin-embedded tissues of cervical carcinomas from 11 indigenous Greenlandic women and, for comparison, also cervical carcinoma tissues from 11 Danish patients, for EBV, HPV 16 and HPV 18 DNA sequences. None of the 22 cervical tissues contained EBV DNA. Six Greenlandic and five Danish carcinomas harbored HPV 16 DNA, and one carcinoma of each group was HPV 18-positive. In conclusion, cervical carcinoma is not associated with EBV infection. Further, the oncogenic HPVs are probably encountered at the same rate in carcinomas from Greenland and from Denmark.

  • carcinogenesis
  • Greenland
  • polymerase chain reaction/PCR
  • squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.