HPV DNA and cervical cancer

Consider quantifying levels of HPV DNA in women at high risk of cervical cancer.

The Scientist Staff
Jun 25, 2000

NEW YORK, June 26 (Praxis Press) Infection with certain strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) increases the risk of cervical cancer, but the relationship between viral load and development of cancer is unclear. Two independent studies evaluated this relationship by performing nested case-control studies of women participating in cytological screening in Sweden. One group found that about 25% of women infected with a high HPV 16 load before age 25 years developed cervical carcinoma in situ within 15 years. The other study found that women with the 20% highest amount of HPV 16 DNA were at a 60-fold higher risk of developing cervical carcinoma in situ compared with women negative for HPV 16. Use of a quantitative HPV test in addition to current cytological screening could identify women at high risk of developing cervical cancer.

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