Study implicates HPV as a possible cause of prostate cancer


Prostate cancer is an increasing health concern among males in Sweden, with sexual history as a consistent risk factor. Dr Neha Singh, Post-Doctor at the University of Skövde, recently published an article in Nature Publications that indicates the presence of HPV infection in prostate cancer – and that men in this light could also benefit from HPV vaccine in the future.

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in the world. Yet, very little research has been conducted between the link prostate cancer and HPV (Human papillomavirus). The exact mechanisms of the progression of prostate gland into cancer are not well characterized, but Neha Singh, Post-Doctor at the University of Skövde now presents a pioneering study that links prostate cancer to HPV.

– The clinical studies of my research were conducted in India and shows that 41 percent of men with prostate cancer were HPV infected, probably when they were young men and sexually active. This indicates that the virus affected the tissue and 15-20 years later the prostate cancer developed, in a similar way that cervical cancer develops in women, says Neha Singh.

Neha Singh has well documented clinical background of research in the field of cervical cancer in the past and its link to HPV. And even though the results of the study point in one direction, other studies have reported that HPV infection is absent in prostate cancer, so more research is needed to clarify the results. Neha Singh plans to extend her clinical research to Swedish males.

– I have great interest in conducting a new study, this time with focus on Swedish males, since prostate cancer is increasing in Sweden. Discussions are ongoing with possibilities of collaboration between the University of Skövde and Sahlgrenska University Hospital in this research, says Neha Singh.

If the results of Neha Singh´s study are further investigated to find out the possible role of HPV in prostate cancer, there is a hope that men could in fact benefit from being vaccinated with HPV vaccine at a young age just as young girls are today to prevent cervical cancer from developing.

Dr Neha Singh, Post-Doctor at the University of Skövde.