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PTU-194 Hpv genotyping as a potential predictive biomarker of chemo-radiotherapy response in patients with rectal cancer (homer project)
  1. A Renehan1,2,
  2. I Baricevic-Jones1,
  3. X He1,
  4. AW Oliver1,
  5. M Sperrin3,
  6. C Fuller4,
  7. L Hampson1,
  8. I Hampson1,
  9. G Branagan5
  1. 1Institute of Cancer Sciences, University of Manchester
  2. 2Department of Colorectal Surgery, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust
  3. 3Institute for Population Health, University of Manchester, Manchester
  4. 4Department of Pathology
  5. 5Department of Colorectal Surgery, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, Salisbury, UK


Introduction Human Papilloma Viruses (HPV) infection may occur in 40% of rectal adenocarcinomas (RCa). HPV positivity (mainly HPV16) at other tumour sites is a predictor for treatment response to chemo-radiotherapy (CRT). Here, we performed a ‘proof of concept’ study in patients with RCa testing the hypothesis that HPV16 tumour positivity is a treatment predictive biomarker for complete response (CR) to CRT.

Method The study was a case-control design in 118 patients undergoing CRT for RCa (CR, 30: non-CR, 88) from two UK cancer centres (2008 to 2013). DNA was extracted from pre-treatment paraffin-embedded blocks with histologically verified carcinoma. High-sensitivity multiplex PCR for HPVs was performed using two sets of primers for each HPV to identify genotypes: HPV6, 16, 18, 33. The probability of a CR was expressed as odd ratios (ORs) using logistic regression models.

Results Any HPV positivity was noted in 25% of tumours. Individual genotype frequencies were: HPV16, 16%; HPV18, 6%; HPV33, 3%; HPV6, 3%. In multivariate models that included age, gender, pre-treatment T-size and N status, there was no association between either any HPV positivity (OR = 1.095, 95% CIs: 0.394, 3.044) or HPV16 positivity (OR = 1.072, 95% CIs: 0.332, 3.465), and complete response to CRT.

Conclusion In this stage 2 biomarker discovery study using high-sensitivity HPV multi-valent assays, we found tumour HPV positivity rates lower than those reported elsewhere in the literature. We found no clear ‘signal’ to take forward HPV genotyping for validation as a predictive biomarker for chemo-radiotherapy response in patients with rectal cancer.

This study was generously supported by the BDRF.

Disclosure of interest None Declared.


  1. Baricevic-Jones, et al. High-sensitivity HPV genotyping reveals near universal positivity in anal squamous cell carcinoma: different implications for vaccine prevention and prognosis. Eur J Cancer [in press]

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