HPV Infections: Race May Influence Natural History

MedicalResearch.com interview with: Matthew B. Schabath, Ph.D

Assistant Member, Department of Cancer Epidemiology
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, 12902 Magnolia Drive
MRC-CANCONT, Tampa, Florida

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Schabath: In this study we found that Asian/Pacific Islander men had the lowest incidence of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and that they exhibited a lower probability of acquiring new HPV infections.   Furthermore, men of multiple and mixed race had the second lowest incidence of HPV infection and however, while they had a lower probability of acquiring HPV, they also had a lower probability of clearing an HPV infection once acquired.

MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Schabath: The findings are somewhat unexpected.  Although the prevalence of genital HPV infection in men appears to vary by world region, to date there is little information on the acquisition (incidence) and persistence (clearance) of HPV infection in men by race.   The observed race-specific differences in HPV infection could be due to behavioral differences, innate genetic differences, or circulating intratypic HPV variants.

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Schabath: There are numerous factors related to the acquisition and persistence of HPV.  The results from our study suggest race is a contributing factor.  However, the quadrivalent HPV vaccine is very effective at preventing the four most common types of HPV which are responsible for a variety of cancers and genital warts.  The quadrivalent HPV vaccine is available and recommended for males and females ages 9 to 26.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Schabath: The mechanisms by which race may influence HPV infection natural history among men is unknown.  However, future studies focusing on race-specific assortative mating, inherited genetic variations, and intratypic HPV ancestral types could reveal possible explanations for the observed race-specific differences.

Citation:

Racial differences in the incidence and clearance of human papillomavirus (HPV): The HPV in Men (HIM) Study

Matthew B. Schabath, Luisa Lina Villa, Hui-Yi Lin, William J. Fulp, Gabriel O. Akogbe, Martha E. Abrahamsen, Eduardo Lazcano-Ponce, Jorge Salermon, Manuel Quiterio, and Anna R. Giiuliano

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev cebp.0303.2013; Published OnlineFirst July 19, 2013; doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-13-0303

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