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Virchows Archiv

, Volume 475, Issue 4, pp 397–405 | Cite as

The molecular pathogenesis of penile carcinoma—current developments and understanding

  • Anthony EmmanuelEmail author
  • Jeremy Nettleton
  • Nick Watkin
  • Daniel M. Berney
Review and Perspectives
  • 204 Downloads

Abstract

Penile squamous cell carcinoma is a rare malignancy with various distinct histological subtypes, each with distinct appearances, histotypic specific associations with human papillomavirus (HPV) and clinical behaviour. Despite a wealth of pathological knowledge, there still remains a limited understanding of the fundamental molecular drivers that govern penile carcinogenesis with their underlying prognostic and therapeutic importance. However, recent work has improved our fundamental understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of penile cancer: commonly divided into the HPV-dependent and HPV-independent pathways. This review aims to summarise current developments in the histopathology and the molecular pathogenesis of penile cancer, with the advent of next-generation sequencing, and the opportunities for the targeting of molecular drivers of metastatic disease.

Keywords

Penile squamous cell carcinoma Human papillomavirus Penile intraepithelial neoplasia Histotype Carcinogenesis Genetics 

Notes

Contributions

Literature review—AA and JN

Manuscript writing—AA

Final manuscript review—AA, JN, NW and DB

Compliance with ethical standards

This study has full adherence and compliance to ethical standards.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Barts Cancer Institute, Centre for Molecular OncologyBarts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, QMULLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of UrologyCheltenham General HospitalGloucestershireUK
  3. 3.Department of UrologySt George’s HospitalLondonUK

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