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Analysis of mitochondrial DNA in penile cancer

Grant number: 11/00503-7
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: April 01, 2011 - March 31, 2013
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Medicine - Surgery
Principal Investigator:Rodolfo Borges dos Reis
Grantee:Rodolfo Borges dos Reis
Home Institution: Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto (FMRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers: Gyl Eanes Barros Silva ; Wilson Araújo da Silva Junior


Penile neoplasms represent less than 1% of tumors in men in the developed countries. In the developing countries, however, penile cancer corresponds to approximately 10 to 20% of all malignant lesions. Penile tumors, although rare, are associated with a high disease and/or treatment related morbidity.Multicenter studies have been carried out at an attempt to identify relevant prognostic factors for this disease. However, relevant molecular markers, capable of adequately predict the behavior of penile tumor are still lacking. Infectious agents, including infection with human papillomavirus (HPV), correlate with the development and aggressiveness of penile cancer. Previous studies with gynecologic tumors demonstrated the presence of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations in the tumor tissue. These studies also suggested that the mitochondrial genetic background may influence the risk of development of those tumors as well as the susceptibility to HPV infection. At the same time, mtDNA mutations have been associated to various tumors. It is possible, therefore, that the mitochondrial genotype is one of the factors related to the susceptibility to penile cancer. In this study, we will analyze the clinical picture and anatomopathological findings in 175 patients with penile tumor, verifying possible prognostic factors. We will also investigate the occurrence of mtDNA alterations in penile tumors, more specifically, the presence of polymorphisms in the D-loop region, somatic mutations, and copy number of mtDNA. The results of this project may help to elucidate the role of mitochondria and mtDNA in the development of penile cancer. Moreover, they may contribute to the development of new molecular markers for early detection and recognition of additional prognostic factors which may contribute to the establishment of new therapeutic options for this disease. (AU)