Primary cervical cancer truly negative for high-risk human papillomavirus is a rare but distinct entity that can affect virgins and young adolescents.
Cancer of the uterine cervix is almost exclusively associated with human papillomavirus (HPV). Carcinogenesis is slow, the minimal time from initial HPV infection to invasive carcinoma seems to be less than ten years. In order to identify rapid onset cervical cancer, we carried out a retrospective re-analysis of an extended cohort of patients with invasive cervical cancer, and reviewed cases identified within the cancer registry of Lower Saxony or using Medline or ISI data. No instances of a rapid-onset cancer or true HPV-DNA negative cancer were found among our hospital cohort of 178 women with primary cancer of the uterine cervix. Registry data identified four out of 5,878 patients who were diagnosed with primary cervical cancer at 14 to 20 years of age. They were classified as clear-cell and endometriod adenocarcinoma and tested persistently negative for high-risk HPV-DNA. Fourteen more cases of cervical cancer in virgins and very young women were identified by a Medline search, mostly with unknown histologic type or rare subtypes of adenocarcinoma. In conclusion, rare adenocarcinoma of the uterine cervix may represent an entity unrelated to HPV, thus explaining instances of rapid onset cervical cancer.
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