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The Prevalence of Human Papillomavirus in Ovarian Cancer: A Systematic Review
  1. Maria Inês Rosa, MD, PhD,
  2. Geraldo Doneda Silva, MD,
  3. Priscyla Waleska Targino de Azedo Simões, MD,
  4. Meriene Viquetti Souza, MD,
  5. Ana Paula Ronzani Panatto,
  6. Carla Sasso Simon,
  7. Kristian Madeira, MD and
  8. Lidia Rossi Medeiros, MD, PhD
  1. Laboratory of Epidemiology and National Institute for Translational Medicine of University of Extremo Sul Catarinense, Criciúma, Santa Catarina, Brazil.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Maria Inês da 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 a meta-analysis to estimate the prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV) in ovarian cancer.

Methods A comprehensive search of the Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, CANCERLIT, LILACS, Grey literature and EMBASE was performed for articles published from January 1990 to March 2012. The following MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) terms were searched: “ovarian tumor” or “ovarian cancers” and “HPV” or “human papillomavirus.” Included were case-control and cross-sectional studies, prospective or retrospective, that evaluated clinical ovarian cancer and provided a clear description of the use of in situ hybridization, Southern blot hybridization, and polymerase chain reaction. The statistical analysis was performed using REVMAN 5.0.

Results In total, 24 primary studies were included in this meta-analysis. Studies from 11 countries on 3 continents contained data on HPV and ovarian cancer, including 889 subjects. Overall, the HPV prevalence in patients with ovarian cancer was 17.5 (95% confidence interval [CI], 15.0%–20.0%). Human papillomavirus prevalence ranged from 4.0% (95% CI, 1.7%–6.3%) in Europe to 31.4% (95% CI, 26.9%–35.9%) in Asia. An aggregate of 4 case-control studies from Asia showed an odds ratio of 2.48 (95% CI, 0.64–9.57).

Conclusions We found a high prevalence of HPV-positive DNA in ovarian cancer cases, but the role of HPV in ovarian cancer remains inconclusive. Further studies are needed to control case to answer this question.

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

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  • Financial support was received from the University of Southern Santa Catarina.

  • The authors declare no conflicts of interest.