• vulvar carcinoma;
  • vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia;
  • p16INK4A;
  • p53;
  • MIB1;
  • HPV


Two pathways leading to vulvar squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) exist. The expression of proliferation- and cell-cycle-related biomarkers and the presence of high-risk (hr) HPV might be helpful to distinguish the premalignancies in both pathways. Seventy-five differentiated vulvar intra-epithelial neoplasia (VIN)-lesions with adjacent SCC and 45 usual VIN-lesions (32 solitary and 13 with adjacent SCC) were selected, and tested for hr-HPV DNA, using a broad-spectrum HPV detection/genotyping assay (SPF10-LiPA), and the immunohistochemical expression of MIB1, p16INK4A and p53. All differentiated VIN-lesions were hr-HPV- and p16-negative and in 96% MIB1-expression was confined to the parabasal layers. Eighty-four percent exhibited high p53 labeling indices, sometimes with parabasal extension. Eighty percent of all usual VIN-lesions were hr-HPV-positive, p16-positive, MIB1-positive and p53-negative. Five (of seven) HPV-negative usual VIN lesions, had an expression pattern like the other HPV-positive usual VIN lesions. In conclusion, both pathways leading to vulvar SCC have their own immunohistochemical profile, which can be used to distinguish the 2 types of VIN, but cannot explain differences in malignant potential. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.