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Prevalence of Human Papillomavirus in Breast Cancer: A Systematic Review
  1. Priscyla Waleska Simões, MD*,,
  2. Lidia Rosi Medeiros, MD, PhD,
  3. Patrícia Duarte Simões Pires, MD*,,
  4. Maria Isabel Edelweiss, MD, PhD,§,
  5. Daniela Dornelles Rosa, MD, PhD,,
  6. Fábio Rosa Silva,
  7. Bruno Rosa Silva and
  8. Maria Inês Rosa, MD, PhD*,,
  1. * Laboratory of Epidemiology and National Institute for Translational Medicine Health Sciences Unit, University of Extremo Sul Catarinense (UNESC), Criciúma, Santa Catarina;
  2. Postgraduate Program in Health Sciences, UNESC;
  3. Postgraduate Program in Medicine, Medical Sciences at Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul;
  4. § Pathology Unit,Hospital de Clinicas de Porto Alegre;
  5. Oncology Unit, Hospital Fêmina, Grupo Hospitalar Conceição Porto Alegre; and
  6. Oncology Unit, Hospital Moinhos de Vento, Porto Alegre, Brazil.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Maria Inês Rosa, MD, PhD, Rua Cruz e Souza, 510. Bairro Pio Correa- CEP 88811-550 – Criciúma, Santa Catarina, Brazil. E-mail: mir{at}


Objective We performed a systematic review and meta-analyses to estimate the prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV) in breast carcinoma and to explore the reasons for the ongoing controversies about this issue.

Materials and Methods A comprehensive search of the Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, CANCERLIT, LILACS, and EMBASE databases was performed for papers published from January 1990 to January 2011. The medical subject heading terms were searched for the following: breast neoplasm, breast lesions, breast cancer, and HPV or human papillomavirus. Statistical analysis was performed using REVMAN 5.0.

Results Twenty-nine primary studies, including 2211 samples, were analyzed. Overall, HPV prevalence in patients with breast cancer was 23.0% (95% CI, 21.2%–24.8%). The prevalence of HPV ranged from 13.4% (95% CI, 10.2%–16%) in Europe to 42.9% (95% CI, 36.4%–49.4%) in North America and Australia. The prevalence of HPV in controls was 12.9%. Combinations of 9 case-control studies showed that breast cancer was associated with HPV (odds ratio, 5.9; 95% CI, 3.26–10.67).

Conclusion We found a high prevalence of HPV DNA in breast cancer. There is strong evidence to suggest that HPV has an important role in the development of breast cancer.

  • Breast cancer
  • HPV
  • Systematic review
  • Prevalence
  • Meta-analyses

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  • The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.