Mapping HPV 16 sub-lineages in anal cancer and implications for disease outcomes

Daniel Guerendiain*, Laila Sara Arroyo-Mühr, Raluca Grigorescu, Matthew Holden, Kate Cuschieri

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The incidence of anal cancer is rising worldwide. As identified in cervical cancer management, an improvement in the early detection and management of anal pre-cancer is essential. In other cancers associated with human papillomavirus (HPV), HPV 16 sub-lineages have been shown to be associated with disease status and prognosis. However, in anal cancer, they have been under-explored. A total of 119 HPV 16-positive anal cancer lesions diagnosed between 2009 and 2018 in Scotland and 134 HPV 16-positive residual rectal swabs from asymptomatic men collected in 2016/7 were whole genome sequenced. The association of HPV 16 sub-lineages with underlying disease status (cancer vs. asymptomatic) and overall survival in anal cancer samples was assessed (comparing A1 vs non-A1 sub-lineages). A1 was the dominant sub-lineage present in the anal cancer (76.5%) and the asymptomatic (76.1%) cohorts. A2 was the second most dominant sub-lineage in both groups (16.8% and 17.2%, respectively). We did not observe significant associations of sub-lineage with demographics, clinical variables or survival (A1 vs. non-A1 sub-lineages (HR 0.83, 0.28–2.46 p = 0.743)). HPV 16 sub-lineages do to not appear to cluster with disease vs asymptomatic carriage or be independently associated with outcomes in anal cancer patients. Further international studies on anal HPV sub-lineage mapping will help to determine whether this is a consistent observation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number322
Number of pages12
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2022


  • Human papillomavirus
  • HPV 16 sub-lineages
  • Anal cancer


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