Relationship between human papillomavirus and penile cancer— implications for prevention and treatment
Penile cancer is a rare disease in the United States, but rates are increasing, causing concern. Several risk factors have been associated with the disease, including human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. Knowledge of HPV pathogenesis has led to the development of a vaccine, which has proven instrumental in reducing the incidence of female HPV-related cancers, but results in men have yet to be elucidated. Fortunately, rates of vaccination are up-trending in both males and females in the past several years. In addition, targeted therapies are the focus of several ongoing research efforts. Some of these therapeutics are currently in use, while several are in trials. With continued patient education and research, both treatment and prevention of HPV-related pre-malignant lesions and penile cancer will likely diminish.