International Journal of Cancer 2022

Differential etiopathogenic features of vulvar squamous cell carcinomas in sub-Saharan Africa and Europe.

Rakislova N, Carreras-Dieguez N, Manzotti C, Saúde O, del Pino M, Chulo L, Rangeiro R, Lovane L, Lorenzoni C, Fernandes F, Rodrigo-Calvo MT, Diaz-Mercedes S, Ribera-Cortada I, Sanfeliu E, López Del Campo R, Marimon L, Alòs S, Vega N, Perez FM, Trias I, Carrilho C, Ordi J
Two pathways have been described for vulvar squamous cell carcinomas (VSCC), one associated with human papillomavirus (HPV), and the other HPV-independent. We compared the etiopathogenic features of a series of VSCC from Mozambique, a sub-Saharan country with high prevalence of HPV and HIV, with those of Spain, a European country with low prevalence of HPV and HIV. All VSCC diagnosed at the two institutions from January 2018 to December 2020 were included (n=35 and n=41, respectively). HPV DNA detection and genotyping, and immunohistochemistry for p16 and p53 were performed. Tumors showing p16 positive staining and/or HPV DNA positivity were considered HPV-associated. 34/35 tumors (97%) from Mozambique and 8/41 (19%) from Spain were HPV-associated (p<0.001). Mean age of the patients from Mozambique and Spain was 45 ± 12 and 72 ± 14, respectively (p<0.001). No differences were found in terms of HPV genotypes or multiple HPV infection rates. 1/35 tumors (3%) from Mozambique and 29/41 (70%) from Spain showed abnormal p53 immunostaining (p<0.001). In contrast with the predominance of HPV-independent VSCC affecting old women in Europe, most VSCC in sub-Saharan Africa are HPV-associated and arise in young women. This data may have important consequences for primary prevention of VSCC worldwide. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.