Lung cancer is one of the common and devastating types of malignancies. Approximately 50,000 people per year are diagnosed with the specific type of malignancy in the UK. The type of cancer that initiate in the lungs is called primary lung cancer while the type which spreads to the lungs from another site in the body, is known as secondary lung cancer. There are two main categories of primary lung cancer according to the type of origin cells. The most common type is the non-small-cell lung cancer which could be squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma or large-cell carcinoma. The other type is the small-cell lung cancer which is not common type but has a quick rate of metastasis in comparison to the non-small-cell lung type.
The main reason why lung cancer is frequent both among men and women is the increased exposure of both sexes to cigarette smoke (active and passive smoking). Studies has shown that stopping smoking at any age could decrease the risk of death from all pathologic conditions directly related to smoke and lung cancer is one of them. However, less than 20% of the smokers develop lung cancer. It is obvious that there are other factors responsible for the development of the specific pathology with environmental factors, genetic reasons and infections being the most frequent ones. It is estimated that exposure to microbiologic pathogens could cause cancer to 16% of the population. Human papilloma virus (HPV) was found to be involved in the pathogenesis of some type of cancers (cervix, uterus and oropharynx). Interesting enough, it is also involved in the carcinogenesis of the lung. There is a theory that the HPV reaches the lungs via the bloodstream coming from distant infected sites such as the genital system.
HPV belongs to the papilloma viruses, a large family of DNA viruses. HPV gene expression and the viral life cycle are controlled by epithelial cell differentiation. It is assumed that scratching of the epithelial tissue allows the virus to infect undifferentiated cells in the basal layers of stratified squamous epithelium. According to the character of HPV, which has a high degree of affinity to the squamous epithelium and the feature of bronchus and lung, whose main tissue type was epithelial tissue, it is assumed that HPV is probably related with lung neoplasms.
Immunohistochemistry (ICH) is a technique for staining tissue using antibodies against a particular antigen. The ultimate value of any HPV detection strategy lays in its ability to both recognize the presence of HPV and discern its potential as a driving force of carcinogenesis. An assay may be highly sensitive in its ability to detect trace amounts of HPV, but it may have no clinical value if it cannot discern an incidental virus from an active oncologic agent.. The objective of this essay is to describe the steps needed to identify HPV from a tissue taken by a patient with lung cancer.


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