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1.  Aetiology, pathogenesis, and pathology of cervical neoplasia. 
Journal of Clinical Pathology  1998;51(2):96-103.
Early epidemiological studies of cervical neoplasia suggested a causal relation with sexual activity and human papillomaviruses (HPVs) have emerged as prime suspects as venerally transmitted carcinogens. HPVs fall into two broad camps: low risk types, associated with cervical condylomas and CIN 1; and high risk types (mostly 16 and 18), found in 50-80% of CIN 2 and CIN 3 lesions, and 90% of cancers. This association with cancer is very strong, with odds ratios of > 15 (often much higher) in case-control studies that are methodologically sound. An infrequently detected third group of intermediate risk type HPVs is associated with all grades of CIN and occasionally with cancers. HPVs have also been detected in a wide range of asymptomatic controls, indicating that other events are required for development of neoplasia such as viral persistence and/or altered expression of viral genes, often following integration of the viral genome. This leaves the two major viral oncogenes, E6 and E7, directly coupled to viral enhancers and promoters, allowing their continued expression after integration. High risk HPV E7 proteins bind and inactivate the Rb protein, whereas E6 proteins bind p53 and direct its rapid degradation. A range of putative cofactors has been implicated in progression: HLA type, immunosuppression, sex steroid hormones, and smoking; most of these cofactors appear to influence progression to CIN 3. The natural history includes progression to CIN 3 in 10% of CIN 1 and 20% of CIN 2 cases, whereas at least 12% of CIN 3 cases progress to invasive carcinoma. Cervical glandular intraepithelial neoplasia (CGIN) often coexists with squamous CIN, and the premalignant potential of high grade CGIN is not in doubt, but the natural history of low grade CGIN remains uncertain. A high proportion of CGIN lesions and adenocarcinomas are HPV positive, and HPV18 has been implicated more in glandular than in squamous lesions. A strong clinical case for the application of HPV typing of cells recovered from cervical scrapes can be made; however, a rigorous cost-benefit analysis of introducing HPV typing into the cervical screening programme is required. Prophylactic and therapeutic HPV vaccines are under development. This article reviews the aetiology, pathogenesis, and pathology of cervical neoplasia, emphasising the role of HPVs.
PMCID: PMC500501  PMID: 9602680
2.  Genomic amplification of the human telomerase gene (hTERC) associated with human papillomavirus is related to the progression of uterine cervical dysplasia to invasive cancer 
Diagnostic Pathology  2012;7:147.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection plays an etiological role in the development of cervical dysplasia and cancer. Amplification of human telomerase gene (hTERC) and over expression of telomerase were found to be associated with cervical tumorigenesis. This study was performed to analyze genomic amplification of hTERC gene, telomerase activity in association with HPV infection in different stages of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) and cervical cancer. We were studying the role of hTERC in the progression of uterine cervical dysplasia to invasive cancer, and proposed an adjunct method for cervical cancer screening.
Exfoliated cervical cells were collected from 114 patients with non neoplastic lesion (NNL, n=27), cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN1, n=26, CIN2, n=16, CIN3, n=24) and cervical carcinoma (CA, n=21), and analyzed for amplification of hTERC with two-color fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) probe and HPV-DNA with Hybrid Capture 2.
From these patients, 53 were taken biopsy to analyze telomerase activity by telomeric repeat amplification protocol (TRAP) and expression of human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT), with immunohistochemistry (IHC). All biopsies were clinically confirmed by phathologists.
Amplification of hTERC was significantly associated with the histologic diagnoses (p<0.05). The positive correlation was found between the level of hTERC amplification and histologic grading of dysplasia (CIN2/3 from CIN1 or normal, P=0.03). A profounding increase in the accumulation of HPV and hTERC positive cases was observed in the CIN3 subgroup compared with the CIN2 group, 25% versus 62.96%, respectively (p=0.007).
hTERC ampliffication can be detected with FISH technique on exfoliated cervical cells. Amplification of hTERC and HPV infection are associated with more progressive CIN3 and CA. The testing of hTERC amplification might be a supplementary to cytology screening and HPV test, especially high-risk patients.
Virtual slides
The virtual slide(s) for this article can be found here:
PMCID: PMC3488518  PMID: 23107094
Cervical cancer; Telomerase; hTERT; hTERC; HR-HPV
3.  Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia in the "Dr. Salvator Vuia" Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital - Arad During the 2000-2009 Period 
Mædica  2012;7(2):138-142.
Objectives: This study intends to analyze some statistical data concerning Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia diagnosed in our hospital.
Material and Methods: Our study concerning the incidence of Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia (CIN) covers the 2000-2009 time-span, the data being collected from the Histopathology Exams (HPE) registers.
Results: During this period, CIN lesions were discovered in 1256 cases and Cervical Intraglandular Dysplasia (CIGD) in 53 cases. CIN I, CIN II and CIN III lesions represented 65.92%(828 cases), 19.67% (247 cases), and 14.41% (181 cases) of the total CIN cases, respectively. There were 26 cases combined with cervical carcinoma (2.07% of all CIN cases, 3.56% of the 731 cervical cancer cases). The mean patients' age was 44.65± 9.83 years for all cervical dysplasia cases, 44.58± 9.75 years for all CIN cases, 43.81±9.22, 46.50±10.17, and 45.46±11.05 years for CIN I, CIN II, and CIN III, respectively, and 46.45 ± 11.63 years for CIGD. The t-test revealed the following significant differences: all cases versus CIN I (p<0.05) and CIN II (p<0.01), CIGD versus CIN I (p<0.05), all cases versus CIN II (p<0.01), CIN I versus CIN II (p<0.0001) and versus CIN III (p<0.05). The mean age of the 731 cervical cancer cases diagnosed in our hospital during that same period was 52.94±12.96 years,and it was statistically significantly different from the mean ages of patients with CIN I, II and III (p <0.00000001) and with CIGD (p<0.0005).
Conclusions: Early detection of CIN is of utmost importance for preventing cervical cancer, a serious and frequent health problem in Romania.
PMCID: PMC3557421  PMID: 23399814
cervical intraepithelial neoplasia; cervical intraglandular dysplasia; cervical biopsy; cervical cancer
4.  Case–control study of HLA-G promoter methylation status, HPV infection and cervical neoplasia in Curitiba, Brazil: a pilot analysis 
BMC Cancer  2012;12:618.
The causal association between persistent human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and cervical cancer has been established, but the mechanisms that favor HPV persistence in cervical cells are still unknown. The diminished capability of the immune system to control and resolve HPV infection is one of several hypotheses. The tolerogenic protein HLA-G has shown aberrant expression in a variety of cancers, which has been suggested as a mechanism for tumor escape from immunosurveillance. In the present study we evaluate the role of epigenetic modification (promoter de-methylation) of the HLA-G gene on susceptibility to HPV infection and development of high-grade cervical lesions.
A case–control study was carried out in Curitiba, Brazil, between February and June 2010. A total of 789 women aged 15–47 years were recruited: 510 controls with normal cervical cytology, and 279 cases with histologically confirmed cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2 (CIN2, N = 150) or grade 3 (CIN3, N = 129). All women were administered a questionnaire by interview, which collected information on demographic and lifestyle factors, and a cervical sample was collected. HPV DNA detection was performed by GP5+/GP6+ primer-mediated PCR. HPV-positive samples were genotyped by multiplex PCR. A pilot analysis of HLA-G promoter methylation was carried out in a subset of the study population (96 cases and 76 controls) by pyrosequencing. HLA-G methylation and HPV infection status of cases and controls were compared, and confounding factors were computed by t Student and non-parametric Wilcoxon tests. Comparison of HLA-G methylation between cases and controls was assessed by the Bonferroni correction. The association of HLA-G methylation with CIN2/3 was evaluated by logistic regression.
HPV prevalence was 19.6% in controls and 94.3% in CIN2/3 cases. HPV16, 31, 33, 35 and 18 were the most prevalent types. Methylation analysis of seven CpGs in the HLA-G promoter did not reveal any spontaneous de-methylation events in CIN2/3 cases (mean proportion of methylation: 75.8%) with respect to controls (mean 73.7%; odds ratio 1.01, 95% confidence interval 0.96, 1.07).
This study did not support the hypothesis that spontaneous de-methylation events in the HLA-G promoter play a primary role in promoting escape from immunosurveillance in the development of precancerous cervical lesions.
PMCID: PMC3545901  PMID: 23265140
HPV; Cervical cancer; HLA-G; Methylation
5.  Local Lymphocytes and Nitric Oxide Synthase in the Uterine Cervical Stroma of Patients with Grade III Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia 
Clinics  2010;65(6):575-581.
Precancerous and cancerous cells can trigger an immune response that may limit tumor development and can be used as a prognostic marker. The aims of the present study were to quantify the presence of B and T lymphocytes, macrophages and cells expressing inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in the cervical stroma of women with grade III cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN III) or in the intratumoral and peritumoral tissue of women with stage I invasive carcinoma.
Cervical tissue specimens were obtained from 60 women (20 each from control tissues, CIN III and invasive carcinomas). The average ages in the control, CIN III and invasive groups were 43.9 (± 4.3), 35.5 (± 9.5), and 50 (± 11.2) years, respectively. The specimens were immunohistochemically labeled with antibodies to identify T lymphocytes (CD3), cytotoxic lymphocytes (CD8), B lymphocytes (CD20), macrophages (CD68) and iNOS. We evaluated the markers in the stroma above the squamocolumnar junction (control), at the intraepithelial lesion (CIN cases), and in the nfiltrating tumor. Two independent observers performed the immunohistochemical analysis.
T lymphocytes, B lymphocytes, macrophages and iNOS were present more frequently (P<0.05) in the stroma of peritumoral invasive tumors compared to the controls and intratumoral invasive cancer samples. CD3+ and CD20+ lymphocytes were present more frequently in CIN III patients compared to samples from patients with intratumoral invasive cancer (P<0.05).
High numbers of T and B lymphocytes, macrophages and iNOS-expressing cells in the peritumoral stroma of the invasive tumors were observed. Cell migration appeared to be proportional to the progression of the lesion.
PMCID: PMC2898547  PMID: 20613932
Cervical cancer; Nitric oxide; CIN III; Lymphocyte; Macrophages
6.  Decreased D2-40 and increased p16INK4A immunoreactivities correlate with higher grade of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 
Diagnostic Pathology  2011;6:59.
D2-40 has been shown a selective marker for lymphatic endothelium, but also shown in the benign cervical basal cells. However, the application of D2-40 immunoreactivity in the cervical basal cells for identifying the grade of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) has not been evaluated.
In this study, the immunoreactive patterns of D2-40, compared with p16INK4A, which is currently considered as the useful marker for cervical cancers and their precancerous diseases, were examined in total 125 cervical specimens including 32 of CIN1, 37 of CIN2, 35 of CIN3, and 21 of normal cervical tissue. D2-40 and p16INK4A immunoreactivities were scored semiquantitatively according to the intensity and/or extent of the staining.
Diffuse D2-40 expression with moderate-to-strong intensity was seen in all the normal cervical epithelia (21/21, 100%) and similar pattern of D2-40 immunoreactivity with weak-to-strong intensity was observed in CIN1 (31/32, 97.2%). However, negative and/or focal D2-40 expression was found in CIN2 (negative: 20/37, 54.1%; focal: 16/37, 43.2%) and CIN3 (negative: 22/35, 62.8%; focal: 12/35, 34.3%). On the other hand, diffuse immunostaining for p16INK4A was shown in 37.5% of CIN1, 64.9% of CIN2, and 80.0% of CIN3. However, the immunoreactive pattern of D2-40 was not associated with the p16INK4A immunoreactivity.
Immunohistochemical analysis of D2-40 combined with p16INK4A may have a significant implication in clinical practice for better identifying the grade of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia, especially for distinguishing CIN1 from CIN2/3.
PMCID: PMC3157410  PMID: 21729305
D2-40; cervical intraepithelial neoplasia; immunohistochemistry; p16INK4A
7.  A shift to a peripheral Th2-type cytokine pattern during the carcinogenesis of cervical cancer becomes manifest in CIN III lesions 
Journal of Clinical Pathology  2005;58(10):1096-1100.
Background: A shifted balance between T helper 1 (Th1)-type and Th2-type cytokines has been hypothesised in cervical dysplasia
Aims: To evaluate possible deregulation of the cytokine network by estimating the expression of peripheral cytokines in different stages of cervical disease and in relation to the presence or absence of high risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV).
Methods: Twenty one HR-HPV positive women with high grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN II–III) and 12 patients with invasive cervical carcinoma formed the study groups. Two control groups consisted of 10 HR-HPV positive and 11 HR-HPV negative women without CIN. Differences in leucocyte subgroups were evaluated by a differential leucocyte count. Plasma concentrations of tumour necrosis factor α (TNFα), TNFα receptors TNFRI and TNFRII, interferon γ (IFNγ), interleukin 2 (IL-2), IL-12, IL-4, and IL-10 were determined by enzyme linked immunosorbent assays.
Results: Leucocyte counts in patients with CIN III and carcinoma were significantly higher than in controls. Plasma IFNγ concentrations were significantly lower in patients with CIN III and carcinoma than in women with CIN II or controls. Plasma concentrations of IL-12, IL-2, IL-4, and TNFα did not differ significantly between groups, but significantly lower plasma concentrations of TNFRII were found in CIN III and carcinoma compared with CIN II. IL-10 was detected with increased frequency in the plasma of patients with CIN III and carcinoma.
Conclusions: These results indicate that a shift to a Th2-type cytokine pattern during the carcinogenesis of cervical cancer occurs in women with CIN III lesions.
PMCID: PMC1770745  PMID: 16189158
cervical dysplasia; peripheral cytokines; high risk human papillomavirus
8.  Increased Ki‐67 proliferative index and absence of P16INK4 in CIN‐HPV related pathogenic pathways different from cervical squamous intraepithelial lesion 
It is generally assumed that similar pathways are involved in human papillomavirus (HPV) induced pathogenesis of cervical squamous intraepithelial lesions (SILs) and cancers and a subset of conjunctival intraepithelial neoplasm (CIN)—that the malignancies or pre‐cancerous lesions arise through HPV oncoproteins E6 and E7, which disrupt the pathways of p53 and the product of the retinoblastoma (Rb) gene and, in turn, increase the protein product of gene p16INK4 through the mechanism of positive feedback. Several cell cycle molecules are detected to test this hypothesis.
Nine cases of CIN and eight non‐CIN cases were analysed for the expression of Ki‐67, pRb, p53, and p16INK4 via immunohistochemistry. Nine cases of cervical high grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (HSIL), and 10 cases of cervical low grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (LSIL) were included for stain control of p16INK4a, and comparison of p16INK4a expression to CIN cases. A nested polymerase chain reaction and a genechip HPV typing were used to detect HPV infection and types in the CIN and non‐CIN samples
HPV positivity was demonstrated in all of the CIN lesions but in none of the non‐CIN lesions. The Ki‐67 proliferative index (Ki‐67 PI) was statistically higher in the CIN group than the non‐CIN group; however, there were no differences of expression of pRb and p53 between the two groups and no expression of p16INK4 in all cases. All nine cases of HSIL, and seven out of 10 cases of LSIL used for stain control were immunoreactive for p16INK4a. There were statistically significant differences in overexpression of p16INK4a between the CINs and SILs
The Ki‐67 proliferative index may be a sensitive marker for CIN lesions and these results, with significant differences in overexpression of p16INK4a between CINs and SILs, may provide new evidence that HPV related mucosal dysplasia in different anatomical locations may lead to dissimilar molecular pathways.
PMCID: PMC1857176  PMID: 16540490
conjunctival intraepithelial neoplasm; human papillomavirus
9.  Functions of Paracrine PDGF Signaling in the Proangiogenic Tumor Stroma Revealed by Pharmacological Targeting  
PLoS Medicine  2008;5(1):e19.
Important support functions, including promotion of tumor growth, angiogenesis, and invasion, have been attributed to the different cell types populating the tumor stroma, i.e., endothelial cells, cancer-associated fibroblasts, pericytes, and infiltrating inflammatory cells. Fibroblasts have long been recognized inside carcinomas and are increasingly implicated as functional participants. The stroma is prominent in cervical carcinoma, and distinguishable from nonmalignant tissue, suggestive of altered (tumor-promoting) functions. We postulated that pharmacological targeting of putative stromal support functions, in particular those of cancer-associated fibroblasts, could have therapeutic utility, and sought to assess the possibility in a pre-clinical setting.
Methods and Findings
We used a genetically engineered mouse model of cervical carcinogenesis to investigate platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) receptor signaling in cancer-associated fibroblasts and pericytes. Pharmacological blockade of PDGF receptor signaling with the clinically approved kinase inhibitor imatinib slowed progression of premalignant cervical lesions in this model, and impaired the growth of preexisting invasive carcinomas. Inhibition of stromal PDGF receptors reduced proliferation and angiogenesis in cervical lesions through a mechanism involving suppression of expression of the angiogenic factor fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF-2) and the epithelial cell growth factor FGF-7 by cancer-associated fibroblasts. Treatment with neutralizing antibodies to the PDGF receptors recapitulated these effects. A ligand trap for the FGFs impaired the angiogenic phenotype similarly to imatinib. Thus PDGF ligands expressed by cancerous epithelia evidently stimulate PDGFR-expressing stroma to up-regulate FGFs, promoting angiogenesis and epithelial proliferation, elements of a multicellular signaling network that elicits functional capabilities in the tumor microenvironment.
This study illustrates the therapeutic benefits in a mouse model of human cervical cancer of mechanism-based targeting of the stroma, in particular cancer-associated fibroblasts. Drugs aimed at stromal fibroblast signals and effector functions may prove complementary to conventional treatments targeting the overt cancer cells for a range of solid tumors, possibly including cervical carcinoma, the second most common lethal malignancy in women worldwide, for which management remains poor.
Douglas Hanahan and colleagues investigate a paracrine regulatory circuit centered upon PDGF receptor signaling in cancer-associated fibroblasts and pericytes of a mouse model of cervical carcinogenesis.
Editors' Summary
Cancers—disorganized, life-threatening masses of cells—develop when cells acquire genetic changes that allow them to divide uncontrollably and to move into (invade) other tissues. Interactions with ostensibly normal cells in the tissue surrounding the tumor (the stroma) support the growth of these abnormal cells. The stroma contains endothelial cells and pericytes (which line the inside and coat the outside, respectively, of blood vessels), cancer-associated fibroblasts, and some immune system cells. Together, these cells support angiogenesis (the formation of a blood supply, which feeds the tumor), produce factors that stimulate tumor cell growth, and facilitate tumor cell invasion into surrounding tissues. One type of tumor with a prominent stromal compartment is cervical cancer. Precancerous changes in the epithelial cells lining the cervix (the structure that connects the womb to the vagina) are usually triggered by infection with human papillomavirus. Some of these early lesions, which are known as cervical intraepithelial neoplasias (CINs), develop into invasive cervical cancer, which is treated by surgery followed by chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
Why Was This Study Done?
The outlook for women whose cervical cancer is detected early is good but only 15%–30% of women whose cancer has spread out of the cervix survive for five years. If, as researchers believe, the stromal compartment is important in the development and growth (neoplastic progression) of cervical cancer, it might be possible to help these women by specifically targeting the cells in the stroma. However, relatively little is known about the role that the stroma plays in the neoplastic progression of cervical cancer or how it is regulated other than that a protein called platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), which is made by the tumor cells, might be involved in its formation. In this study, the researchers have used a mouse model of cervical cancer (HPV/E2 mice) to investigate PDGF signaling in the tumor stroma. HPV/E2 mice develop CINs before they are three months old; by five months of age, 90% of them have invasive cervical cancer.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers report that PDGF was expressed in the cervixes of normal and HPV/E2 mice, mainly by epithelial cells, and that PDGF receptors (cell-surface proteins that bind PDGF and send a message into the cell that alters the expression of other proteins) were expressed on cells within normal stroma and in fibroblasts and pericytes in the stroma surrounding CINs and tumors (but not on the cancer cells). The expression of PDGF and its receptors increased slightly during tumor progression. Treatment of the HPV/E2 mice with imatinib, an inhibitor of PDGF signaling, slowed the progression of precancerous lesions, impaired the growth of invasive cancers, and reduced the number of blood vessels formed in the tumors and the coverage of these vessels with pericytes. Other experiments indicate that imatinib had these effects because its inhibition of stromal PDGF receptors suppressed the expression of FGF-7 (a factor that encourages epithelial cell division) and FGF-2 (a proangiogenic factor) by cancer-associated fibroblasts. Finally, as in HPV/E2 mice, FGF-2 and PDGF receptors were expressed in the stroma of human cervical cancers whereas PDGF was expressed in the cancer cells.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that PDGF receptor signaling in the stromal cells associated with cervical tumors in mice has a functional role during tumor progression. More specifically, they suggest that PDGF released by the tumor cells triggers PDGF signaling in the stromal cells, which increases the expression of factors that both directly and indirectly stimulate the growth of the tumor cells. Confirmation of this scheme will require additional experiments in mouse models of cervical cancer and the careful examination of more human material. Importantly, although approaches that work in mice do not always work in people, the current findings suggest that targeted therapeutics that prevent the stromal support of tumor growth (such as inhibitors of PDGF receptor signaling) might provide a complementary approach to conventional treatments that target the cancer cells themselves.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
The US National Cancer Institute provides information on all aspects of cancer, including information about cervical cancer (in English and Spanish)
The UK charity Cancerbackup also provides information on all aspects of cancer, including information on cervical cancer and on imatinib
Wikipedia has pages on platelet-derived growth factor, on PDGF receptors, and on imatinib (note that Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit; available in several languages)
PMCID: PMC2214790  PMID: 18232728
10.  Mandatory fortification with folic acid in the United States appears to have adverse effects on histone methylation in women with pre-cancer but not in women free of pre-cancer 
To evaluate whether mandatory fortification of grain products with folic acid in the US is associated with changes in histone methylation in cells involved in cervical carcinogenesis.
Cervical specimens obtained before (1990 to 1992) and after mandatory folic acid fortification (2000 to 2002) were used to examine the degree of histone methylation (H3 Lys-9) by immunohistochemistry. 91 women (51 before and 40 after fortification) were diagnosed with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) grade 3 or carcinoma in situ (CIS) and sections utilized in the study also contained normal, reactive or metaplastic cervical epithelium, CIN 1 or CIN 2. 64 women (34 before and 30 after fortification) were free of CIN and these sections contained only normal or reactive cervical epithelium. Immunohistochemical staining for H3 Lys-9, its assessment in different cell or lesion types and data entry were blinded for fortification status. For each cell type or lesion category we used PROC MIXED in SAS with the specimen identifier as a random effect and the robust variance estimator to estimate age- and race-adjusted intensity score for H3 Lys-9 in the pre- and post-fortification periods.
Degree of H3 Lys-9 methylation was significantly higher (P < 0.0001) in ≥CIN 2 lesions (CIN 2, CIN 3 and CIS) than in ≤CIN 1 lesions (CIN 1, normal, reactive and metaplastic), in both pre- and post-fortification CIN 3/CIS specimens. Age- and race-adjusted mean H3 Lys-9 score was significantly higher in all cell or lesion types in CIN 3/CIS specimens obtained in the post-fortification period compared to pre-fortification period (P < 0.05, all comparisons). In contrast, in specimens obtained from women free of CIN, Lys-9 methylation in normal/reactive cervical epithelium was significantly lower in post-fortification specimens than in pre-fortification specimens (P = 0.03).
Higher levels of Lys-9 methylation in ≥CIN 2 compared to ≤CIN 1 lesions suggest that higher Lys-9 methylation is associated with progression of lower grade CIN to higher grade CIN. Higher Lys-9 methylation in cervical tissues of women diagnosed with CIN 3 in the post-fortification period than in pre-fortification period suggest that fortification may adversely affect histone methylation in already initiated cells. Lower Lys-9 methylation in normal/reactive cervical cells of women free of CIN in the post-fortification period than pre-fortification on the other hand suggests that fortification is likely to protect against initiation of carcinogenic process in the cervix. These results suggest that mandatory fortification with folic acid in the US seems to have different effects on cancer depending on the stage of carcinogenesis. Because this is the first study to report folic acid fortification-associated differences in histone methylation and because of the limitations inherent to the approach we have taken to demonstrate these differences, validation of the results in other study populations or with other techniques for assessing histone methylation is necessary.
PMCID: PMC2971712  PMID: 21072283
folic acid; fortification; histone methylation; cervix
11.  Assessing methylation status of PAX1 in cervical scrapings, as a novel diagnostic and predictive biomarker, was closely related to screen cervical cancer 
Objective: Previous studies have demonstrated that levels of hypermethylation of paired boxed gene 1 in cervical tissues are associated with the grades of severities of cervical neoplasia in women, which suggests that testing for DNA methylation has a potential role in neoplasma screening. In this study, by testing methylation levels of PAX1 genes in cervical scrapings and cervical tissues of different lesion levels, aims to evaluate the diagnostic value of DNA methylation testing as a biomarker for early detecting cancerous changes in cervical tissues and to compare the efficacy between PAX1 methylation test and HPV test in detecting of cervical cancer. Methods: A total of 121 cervical scrapings were analyzed, including normal (n = 28), cervical intraepithelial neoplasm 1 (CIN1; n = 32), CIN2/3 (n = 34), and invasive cancer (n = 27), which were all diagnosed by pathologic examination. Results: The values of PAX1 methylation reference in invasive cancer (mean [SE], 26.3 [3.5]) was significantly higher than CIN2/3 (13. 2 [2.2]) and the CIN1 (4.5 [0.45]; P < 0.001). The PAX1 promoter was hypermethylated in 100% of invasive cancer tissue compared with 0% of normal tissue, 9% of CIN1, 44% of CIN2/3 (P < 0.01). Methylation levels of cervical scrapings and cervical tissues represent strong consistency within each group. In contrast, the HPV test result was positive in 17% of normal tissue, 81% of CIN1, 91% of CIN2/CIN3, and 92% of invasive cancer. Based on receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis, hypermethylation of PAX1 was a significant candidate in segregating cervical cancer from normal/cervical neoplasia cases (P < 0.001). At an optimal cutoff value, sensitivity and specificity between 80% and 93% were obtained. In conclusion, the current results indicated that the methylation density of PAX1 by pyrosequencing in cervical scrapings held a great promise for cervical cancer screening.
PMCID: PMC4396293  PMID: 25973053
PAX1; methylation; cervical cancer; HPV; bisulfate pyrosequencing
12.  Quantitative survey of multiple CpGs from 5 genes identifies CpG methylation panel discriminating between high- and low-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 
Clinical Epigenetics  2015;7(1):4.
Studies of methylation biomarkers for cervical cancer often involved only few randomly selected CpGs per candidate gene analyzed by methylation-specific PCR-based methods, with often inconsistent results from different laboratories. We evaluated the role of different CpGs from multiple genes as methylation biomarkers for high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN).
We applied a mass spectrometry-based platform to survey the quantitative methylation levels of 34 CpG units from SOX1, PAX1, NKX6-1, LMX1A, and ONECUT1 genes in 100 cervical formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues. We then used nonparametric statistics and Random Forest algorithm to rank significant CpG methylations and support vector machine with 10-fold cross validation and 200 times bootstrap resampling to build a predictive model separating CIN II/III from CIN I/normal subjects. We found only select CpG units showed significant differences in methylation between CIN II/III and CIN I/normal groups, while mean methylation levels per gene were similar between the two groups for each gene except PAX1. An optimal classification model involving five CpG units from SOX1, PAX1, NKX6-1, and LMX1A achieved 81.2% specificity, 80.4% sensitivity, and 80.8% accuracy.
Our study suggested that during CIN development, the methylation of CpGs within CpG islands is not uniform, with varying degrees of significance as biomarkers. Our study emphasizes the importance of not only methylated marker genes but also specific CpGs for identifying high-grade CINs. The 5-CpG classification model provides a promising biomarker panel for the early detection of cervical cancer.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13148-014-0037-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4334603  PMID: 25699113
Cervical cancer; Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN); DNA methylation; High-grade CIN; Biomarkers
13.  Genomic amplification patterns of human telomerase RNA gene and C-MYC in liquid-based cytological specimens used for the detection of high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 
Diagnostic Pathology  2012;7:40.
The amplification of oncogenes initiated by high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is an early event in cervical carcinogenesis and can be used for cervical lesion diagnosis. We measured the genomic amplification rates and the patterns of human telomerase RNA gene (TERC) and C-MYC in the liquid-based cytological specimens to evaluate the diagnostic characteristics for the detection of high-grade cervical lesions.
Two hundred and forty-three residual cytological specimens were obtained from outpatients aged 25 to 64 years at Qilu Hospital, Shandong University. The specimens were evaluated by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) using chromosome probes to TERC (3q26) and C-MYC (8q24). All of the patients underwent colposcopic examination and histological evaluation. A Chi-square test was used for categorical data analysis.
In the normal, cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 1 (CIN1), grade 2 (CIN2), grade 3 (CIN3) and squamous cervical cancer (SCC) cases, the TERC positive rates were 9.2%, 17.2%, 76.2%, 100.0% and 100.0%, respectively; the C-MYC positive rates were 20.7%, 31.0%, 71.4%, 81.8% and 100.0%, respectively. The TERC and C-MYC positive rates were higher in the CIN2+ (CIN2, CIN3 and SCC) cases than in the normal and CIN1 cases (p < 0.01). Compared with cytological analysis, the TERC test showed higher sensitivity (90.0% vs. 84.0%) and higher specificity (89.6% vs. 64.3%). The C-MYC test showed lower sensitivity (80.0% vs. 84.0%) and higher specificity (77.7% vs. 64.3%). Using a cut-off value of 5% or more aberrant cells, the TERC test showed the highest combination of sensitivity and specificity. The CIN2+ group showed more high-level TERC gene copy number (GCN) cells than did the normal/CIN1 group (p < 0.05). For C-MYC, no significant difference between the two histological categories was detected (p > 0.05).
The TERC test is highly sensitive and is therefore suitable for cervical cancer screening. The C-MYC test is not suitable for cancer screening because of its lower sensitivity. The amplification patterns of TERC become more diverse and complex as the severity of cervical diseases increases, whereas for C-MYC, the amplification patterns are similar between the normal/CIN1 and CIN2+ groups.
Virtual slides
The virtual slide(s) for this article can be found here:
PMCID: PMC3379933  PMID: 22500694
Uterine cervical neoplasia; Oncogenes; Fluorescence in situ hybridization; Telomerase RNA gene; C-MYC; Human papillomavirus
14.  Association between HLA DQB1 * 03 and cervical intra-epithelial neoplasia. 
Molecular Medicine  1995;1(2):161-171.
BACKGROUND: Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) and cervical cancer have been shown to be strongly associated with infection by human papillomavirus (HPV). However, other factors may be contributory in the progression from normal epithelium to CIN and cervical cancer, since not all women with HPV infection develop disease. Recently, it was demonstrated that there is a high risk for cervical cancer and CIN in women with HLA DQB1 * 03 (RR = 7.1, p < 0.0009) (1). Subsequent reports have been conflicting, due to sample size, genetic heterogeneity and differences in the techniques employed for the detection of HLA DQB1 * 03. MATERIALS AND METHODS: DNA from cervical smears of 178 women with CIN and 420 controls with normal cervical cytology was analyzed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with type-specific primers for HPV 16, 18, 31, and 33. The DNA from test and control samples were also analyzed by a novel PCR technique, which mutates the first base of codon 40 (DQ alleles) from T to G to create an artificial restriction site for an enzyme Mlu I that distinguish DQB1 * 03 from other alleles and are confirmed by digestion of amplified DNA with Mlu I. Further analysis of individual DQB1 * 03 alleles was performed using PCR and allele-specific primers. RESULTS: One hundred forty-four (34%) out of 420 controls (all HPV 16, 18, 31, or 33 negative and normal cytology), 37/66 (56%) of CIN I and 72/112 (64%) of CIN III were positive for DQB1 * 03 (trend test, p < 0.001, chi 2 = 37.3). A significant association was observed between DQB1 * 03 and CIN (odds ratio 3.03; 95% CI 2.11-3.45). Of women with CIN, 131/178 (73.5%) had HPV (types 16, 18, 31, or 33) infection. There was a significant association between DQB1 * 03 and presence of HPV (odds ratio 3.43; 95% CI 2.25-5.10). Homozygosity for DQB1 * 03 was more strongly associated with CIN than heterozygosity (odds ratios 4.0 and 2.63, respectively); and for the presence of HPV (odds ratio 4.47; 95% CI 2.58-7.77). HLA DQB1 * 0301 was the most strongly associated allele with CIN and HPV (odds ratios 2.53 and 2.63, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: HLA DQB1 * 03 is associated significantly with CIN and may be permissive for HPV infection. Further analysis of class II HLA typing in CIN is necessary to evaluate this association.
PMCID: PMC2229948  PMID: 8529095
15.  Concordance analysis of methylation biomarkers detection in self-collected and physician-collected samples in cervical neoplasm 
BMC Cancer  2015;15:418.
Non-attendance at gynecological clinics is a major limitation of cervical cancer screening and self-collection of samples may improve this situation. Although HPV testing of self-collected vaginal samples is acceptable, the specificity is inadequate. The current focus is increasing self-collection of vaginal samples to minimize clinic visits. In this study, we analyzed the concordance and clinical performance of DNA methylation biomarker (PAX1, SOX1, and ZNF582) detection in self-collected vaginal samples and physician-collected cervical samples for the identification of cervical neoplasm.
We enrolled 136 cases with paired methylation data identified from abnormal Pap smears (n = 126) and normal controls (n = 10) regardless of HPV status at gynecological clinics. The study group comprised 37 cervical intraepithelial neoplasm I (CIN1), 23 cervical intraepithelial neoplasm II (CIN2), 16 cervical intraepithelial neoplasm III (CIN3), 30 carcinoma in situ (CIS), 13 squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) and seven adenocarcinomas (ACs)/adenosquamous carcinomas (ASCs). PAX1, SOX1 and ZNF582 methylation in study samples was assessed by real-time quantitative methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction analysis. We generated methylation index cutoff values for the detection of CIN3+ in physician-collected cervical samples for analysis of the self-collected group. Concordance between the physician-collected and self-collected groups was evaluated by Cohen’s Kappa. Sensitivity, specificity and area under curve (AUC) were calculated for detection of CIN3+ lesions. Finally, we produced an optimal cutoff value with the best sensitivity from the self-collected groups.
We generated a methylation index cutoff value from physician-collected samples for detection of CIN3+. There were no significant differences in sensitivity, specificity of PAX1, SOX1 and ZNF582 between the self-collected and physician-collected groups. The methylation status of all three genes in the normal control samples, and the CIN 1, CIN2, CIN3, CIS, ACs/ASCs and SCC samples showed reasonable to good concordance between the two groups (κ = 0.443, 0.427, and 0.609 for PAX1, SOX1, and ZNF582, respectively). In determining the optimal cutoff values from the self-collected group, ZNF582 showed the highest sensitivity (0.77; 95%CI, 0.65–0.87) using a cutoff value of 0.0204.
Methylation biomarker analysis of the three genes for detection of CIN3+ lesions shows reasonable to good concordance between the self-collected and physician-collected samples. Therefore, self-collection of samples could be adopted to decrease non-attendance and improve cervical screening.
PMCID: PMC4448302  PMID: 25985991
Cervical cancer; DNA methylation; Biomarker; Self-collected; Physician-collected; Real-time quantitative methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction (QMSP)
16.  Methylation-mediated transcriptional repression of microRNAs during cervical carcinogenesis 
Epigenetics  2013;8(2):220-228.
Deregulated expression of microRNAs (miRNAs) is common and biologically relevant in cervical carcinogenesis and appears only partly related to chromosomal changes. We recently identified 32 miRNAs showing decreased expression in high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) and carcinomas not associated with a chromosomal loss, 6 of which were located within a CpG island. This study aimed to investigate to what extent these miRNAs are subject to DNA methylation-mediated transcriptional repression in cervical carcinogenesis.
Methylation-specific PCR (MSP) analysis on a cell line panel representing different stages of human papillomavirus (HPV) induced transformation revealed an increase in methylation of hsa-miR-149, -203 and -375 with progression to malignancy, whereas expression of these miRNAs was restored upon treatment with a demethylating agent. All three miRNAs showed significantly increased levels of methylation in cervical carcinomas, whereas methylation levels of hsa-miR-203 and -375 were also significantly increased in high-grade CIN. A pilot analysis showed that increased hsa-miR-203 methylation was also detectable in HPV-positive cervical scrapes of women with high-grade CIN compared with controls. Similar to recent findings on hsa-miR-375, ectopic expression of hsa-miR-203 in cervical cancer cells decreased both the proliferation rate and anchorage independent growth. We found evidence for methylation-mediated transcriptional repression of hsa-miR-149, -203 and -375 in cervical cancer. Methylation of the latter two was already apparent in precancerous lesions and represent functionally relevant events in HPV-mediated transformation. Increased hsa-miR-203 methylation was detectable in scrapes of women with high-grade CIN, indicating that methylated miRNAs may provide putative markers to assess the presence of (pre)cancerous lesions.
PMCID: PMC3592908  PMID: 23324622
microRNA; squamous cell carcinoma; DNA methylation; CIN lesion; HPV; MSP
17.  Angiogenesis is associated with vascular endothelial growth factor expression in cervical intraepithelial neoplasia. 
British Journal of Cancer  1997;76(11):1410-1415.
Squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix (SCC) is preceded by a premalignant condition known as cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN). The majority of cases of CIN regress spontaneously; however, methods are needed to identify those lesions likely to progress. Increased blood vessel density, signifying angiogenesis, is an independent prognostic indicator in a number of cancers, although little is known about its significance in premalignant lesions. The aim of the present study was to determine the relationship between vessel density, expression of the potent angiogenic factor vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and CIN grade. Using immunohistochemistry, mean vessel density (MVD) and VEGF expression were assessed in samples from 54 patients who had undergone cone biopsy for CIN or hysterectomy for SCC and from 16 patients with no cervical pathology. There were significant increases in MVD and VEGF expression from normal cervix through CIN I to CIN III to invasive SCC, but no difference in mean vessel diameter between groups. There was a strong correlation between mean vessel density and VEGF expression, and both were associated with histological grade of CIN. The original MVDs for a small group of patients later presenting with recurrent disease were found to be equal to or greater than the mean for their histological grade. We conclude that the onset of angiogenesis is an early event in premalignant changes of the cervix due, in part, to enhanced expression of VEGF by the abnormal epithelium.
PMCID: PMC2228179  PMID: 9400935
18.  Comprehensive serial analysis of gene expression of the cervical transcriptome 
BMC Genomics  2007;8:142.
More than half of the approximately 500,000 women diagnosed with cervical cancer worldwide each year will die from this disease. Investigation of genes expressed in precancer lesions compared to those expressed in normal cervical epithelium will yield insight into the early stages of disease. As such, establishing a baseline from which to compare to, is critical in elucidating the abnormal biology of disease. In this study we examine the normal cervical tissue transcriptome and investigate the similarities and differences in relation to CIN III by Long-SAGE (L-SAGE).
We have sequenced 691,390 tags from four L-SAGE libraries increasing the existing gene expression data on cervical tissue by 20 fold. One-hundred and eighteen unique tags were highly expressed in normal cervical tissue and 107 of them mapped to unique genes, most belong to the ribosomal, calcium-binding and keratinizing gene families. We assessed these genes for aberrant expression in CIN III and five genes showed altered expression. In addition, we have identified twelve unique HPV 16 SAGE tags in the CIN III libraries absent in the normal libraries.
Establishing a baseline of gene expression in normal cervical tissue is key for identifying changes in cancer. We demonstrate the utility of this baseline data by identifying genes with aberrant expression in CIN III when compared to normal tissue.
PMCID: PMC1899502  PMID: 17543121
19.  Completeness of excision and follow up cytology in patients treated with loop excision biopsy 
Journal of Clinical Pathology  2000;53(3):191-196.
Aims—To assess the relation between the grade and the status of follow up cytology, the completeness of loop excision biopsies with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), and the findings at follow up cytology, as well as the differences between complete and incomplete exclusion, using the odds ratio. Treatment failure was assessed.
Methods—1600 women with CIN (290 CIN1, 304 CIN2, 1006 CIN3) were followed for a minimum of six months and a maximum of 10 years. A database was created and comparisons performed. The mean age of the patients was 37 years.
Results—Excision was complete in over 84% of loops. Residual disease and recurrence of high grade dyskaryosis was more common in women with CIN 3 than CIN 2 or 1. No high grade dyskaryosis was seen in the fifth follow up smear in patients with CIN 1 and CIN 2. Residual, recurrent, and persistent disease was most common in patients with incompletely excised CIN at ectocervical and endocervical margins and deep margins of resection than in patients with completely excised CIN. The odds ratios were significantly higher in the women who had incomplete excision of CIN at ectocervical, endocervical, both ecto- and endocervical, and deep margins of resection compared with those with apparent complete excision of CIN lesions. One patient developed invasive squamous cell carcinoma 44 months after loop excision which showed CIN 3 invading endocervical crypts and extending to both ectocervical and endocervical margins of resection.
Conclusions—At long term follow up, patients with CIN who have residual disease are at increased risk of persistent disease and should therefore be followed up regularly with cytology and colposcopy. The findings support national policy of returning women with treated CIN of any grade to normal recall after five years except for cases of CIN3 where excision was incomplete or equivocal. In these cases follow up with annual smear for 10 years is recommended.
Key Words: cervical cytology • cervical intraepithelial neoplasia
PMCID: PMC1731153  PMID: 10823137
20.  Clinical and Pathological Heterogeneity of Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia Grade 3 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(1):e29051.
Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 3 (CIN3), the immediate cervical cancer precursor, is a target of cervical cancer prevention. However, less than half of CIN3s will progress to cancer. Routine treatment of all CIN3s and the majority of CIN2s may lead to overtreatment of many lesions that would not progress. To improve our understanding of CIN3 natural history, we performed a detailed characterization of CIN3 heterogeneity in a large referral population in the US.
We examined 309 CIN3 cases in the SUCCEED, a large population-based study of women with abnormal cervical cancer screening results. Histology information for 12 individual loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) segments was evaluated for each woman. We performed case-case comparisons of CIN3s to analyze determinants of heterogeneity and screening test performance.
CIN3 cases varied substantially by size (1–10 LEEP segments) and by presentation with concomitant CIN2 and CIN1. All grades of CINs were equally distributed over the cervical surface. In half of the women, CIN3 lesions were found as multiple distinct lesions on the cervix. Women with large and solitary CIN3 lesions were more likely to be older, have longer sexual activity span, and have fewer multiple high risk HPV infections. Screening frequency, but not HPV16 positivity, was an important predictor of CIN3 size. Large CIN3 lesions were also characterized by high-grade clinical test results.
We demonstrate substantial heterogeneity in clinical and pathological presentation of CIN3 in a US population. Time since sexual debut and participation in screening were predictors of CIN3 size. We did not observe a preferential site of CIN3 on the cervical surface that could serve as a target for cervical biopsy. Cervical cancer screening procedures were more likely to detect larger CIN3s, suggesting that CIN3s detected by multiple independent diagnostic tests may represent cases with increased risk of invasion.
PMCID: PMC3258246  PMID: 22253702
21.  The biology of incipient, pre-invasive or intraepithelial neoplasia 
Invasive tumors (cancers or malignant lesions) typically develop in the setting in which there is the presence of putative non-invasive lesions and the development of these non-invasive lesions frequently precedes the development of cancers. For some organs, such as the oral cavity, cervix and skin, the respective putative pre-invasive lesions can be observed over time and documented to progress to invasive lesions. However, for less readily observable lesions, such as those of the prostate, the progression of the pre-invasive lesions, e.g., prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) and prostatic proliferative inflammatory atrophy (PIA) to prostatic cancer are more difficult to document. Thus, for most organ systems, specific pre-invasive neoplastic lesions have been proposed based upon the apparent observations of one or more of the following: 1) microinvasive disease developing from a pre-invasive neoplastic lesion, 2) the general association of the pre-invasive lesion with invasive lesions, 3) the subsequent development of invasive lesions following diagnosis of the pre-invasive lesion, 4) correlations of the molecular features of the putative pre-invasive lesion with the matching invasive lesions, and 5) reductions in the rate of cancer following removal of the pre-invasive lesion. When there are mixtures of pre-invasive lesions with actual cancers in the same case, some of the above specific associations are more difficult to make. Several terms have been used to describe pre-invasive lesions, many of which are now less useful as our knowledge of these lesions increases. It is now commonly accepted that these lesions are a features of the spectrum of neoplastic development and most are accepted as “neoplastic lesions” with associated molecular features, even though they may be reversible even if they have mutations in suppressor genes (e.g., p53) or are associated with viral etiologies (e.g., cervical intraepithelial neoplasia). The overall term, “pre-invasive neoplasia”, seems to best describe these putative pre-invasive lesions. Thus, terms such as incipient neoplasia should be abandoned. The term “intra-epithelial neoplasia” with an associated grade, which has been developed for pre-invasive neoplastic lesions of the cervix, i.e. cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), seems to be a terminology that adds consistency across epithelial organs. Thus, adoption of these terms for the additional organ sites of pancreas (PanIN) and prostate (PIN) seems accepted. Less descriptive terms such as the degrees of dysplasia of the oral cavity and bronchopulmonary system and actinic keratosis and Bowen's disease of the skin might be better designated as oral intraepithelial neoplasia (OIN), pulmonary intraepithelial neoplasia (PulIN) and dermal intraepithelial neoplasia (DIN). The etiology of pre-invasive neoplasia is the etiology of the matching cancers. Some obvious initiating factors include exposure to the whole range of ionizing and non-ionizing radiation, tobacco abuse and a broad range of other carcinogens (e.g., benzene). A frequent initiation factor is the setting of long standing continuing damage, inflammation and repair (LOCDIR) which leads to early molecular features associated with neoplasia after about one year. An excellent example of this is ulcerative colitis (UC) in which dysregulation of microsatellite repair enzymes have been documented one year following diagnosis of UC. While the nomenclature, description, diagnosis and etiology of pre-invasive neoplasia has advanced, approaches to therapy of such lesions have not progressed adequately even though it has been identified that, for example, removal of polyps periodically from the colorectum, DCIS from the breast, and high grade CIN from the cervix, results in a reduction in the development of cancers of the colorectum, breast, and cervix, respectively. With the development of more molecularly targeted therapy with fewer side effects, preventive therapies may be more successfully targeted to pre-invasive neoplastic lesions.
PMCID: PMC3430522  PMID: 22112468
Intraepithelial neoplasia; pre-invasive neoplasia; prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia; pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia; cervical intraepithelial neoplasia; adenomatous polyps; ductal carcinoma in situ; lobular carcinoma in situ; inflammation; radiation; viral infections; carcinogens; dysplasia; actinic keratosis; repair; angiogenesis; LOCDIR
22.  Evaluation of Candidate Methylation Markers to Detect Cervical Neoplasia 
Gynecologic oncology  2007;107(3):549-553.
Studies of cervical cancer and its immediate precursor, cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 3 (CIN3), have identified genes that often show aberrant DNA methylation and therefore, represent candidate early detection markers. We used quantitative PCR assays to evaluate methylation in five candidate genes (TNFRSF10C, DAPK1, SOCS3, HS3ST2 and CDH1) previously demonstrated as methylated in cervical cancer.
In this analysis, we performed methylation assays for the five candidate genes in 45 invasive cervical cancers, 12 histologically normal cervical specimens, and 23 liquid-based cervical cytology specimens confirmed by expert review as unequivocal demonstrating cytologic high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions, thus representing the counterparts of histologic CIN3.
We found hypermethylation of HS3ST2 in 93% of cancer tissues and 70% of cytology specimens interpreted as CIN3; hypermethylation of CDH1 was found in 89% of cancers and 26% of CIN3 cytology specimens. Methylation of either HS3ST2 or CDH1 was observed in 100% of cervical cancer tissues and 83% of CIN3 cytology specimens. None of the five genes showed detectable methylation in normal cervical tissues.
Our data support further evaluation of HS3ST2 and CDH1 methylation as potential markers of cervical cancer and its precursor lesions.
PMCID: PMC2718832  PMID: 17894941
cervical cancer; promoter methylation; tumor suppressor genes
23.  Plasma Protein Profiles Differ Between Women Diagnosed with Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia (CIN) 1 and 3 
Cancer Informatics  2007;2:345-349.
Early detection of precancerous cells in the cervix and their clinical management is the main purpose of cervical cancer prevention and treatment programs. Cytological findings or testing for high risk (HR)-human papillomavirus (HPV) are inadequately sensitive for use in triage of women at high risk for cervical cancer. The current study is an exploratory study to identify candidate surface-enhanced laser desorption/ionization (SELDI) time of flight (TOF) mass spectrometry (MS) protein profiles in plasma that may distinguish cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN 3) from CIN 1 among women infected with HR-HPV. We evaluated the SELDI-TOF-MS plasma protein profiles of HR-HPV positive 32 women with CIN 3 (cases) and 28 women with CIN1 (controls). Case-control status was kept blinded and triplicates of each sample and quality control plasma samples were randomized and after robotic sample preparations were run on WCX2 chips. After alignment of mass/charge (m-z values), an iterative method was used to develop a classifier on a training data set that had 28 cases and 22 controls. The classifier developed was used to classify the subjects in a test data set that has six cases and six controls. The classifier separated the cases from controls in the test set with 100% sensitivity and 100% specificity suggesting the possibility of using plasma SELDI protein profiles to identify women who are likely to have CIN 3 lesions.
PMCID: PMC2675504  PMID: 19458776
cervical; neoplasia; protein profiles; SELDI
24.  Genome-wide methylation profiling identifies hypermethylated biomarkers in high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 
Epigenetics  2012;7(11):1268-1278.
Epigenetic modifications, such as aberrant DNA promoter methylation, are frequently observed in cervical cancer. Identification of hypermethylated regions allowing discrimination between normal cervical epithelium and high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN2/3), or worse, may improve current cervical cancer population-based screening programs. In this study, the DNA methylome of high-grade CIN lesions was studied using genome-wide DNA methylation screening to identify potential biomarkers for early diagnosis of cervical neoplasia. Methylated DNA Immunoprecipitation (MeDIP) combined with DNA microarray was used to compare DNA methylation profiles of epithelial cells derived from high-grade CIN lesions with normal cervical epithelium. Hypermethylated differentially methylated regions (DMRs) were identified. Validation of nine selected DMRs using BSP and MSP in cervical tissue revealed methylation in 63.2–94.7% high-grade CIN and in 59.3–100% cervical carcinomas. QMSP for the two most significant high-grade CIN-specific methylation markers was conducted exploring test performance in a large series of cervical scrapings. Frequency and relative level of methylation were significantly different between normal and cancer samples. Clinical validation of both markers in cervical scrapings from patients with an abnormal cervical smear confirmed that frequency and relative level of methylation were related with increasing severity of the underlying CIN lesion and that ROC analysis was discriminative. These markers represent the COL25A1 and KATNAL2 and their observed increased methylation upon progression could intimate the regulatory role in carcinogenesis. In conclusion, our newly identified hypermethylated DMRs represent specific DNA methylation patterns in high-grade CIN lesions and are candidate biomarkers for early detection.
PMCID: PMC3499328  PMID: 23018867
cervical precancerous lesion; DNA methylation; MeDIP-chip; cervical scraping
25.  Immunohistochemical LRIG3 Expression in Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia and Invasive Squamous Cell Cervical Cancer: Association with Expression of Tumor Markers, Hormones, High-Risk HPV-Infection, Smoking and Patient Outcome 
The novel biomarker LRIG3 is a member of the LRIG family (LRIG1-3). While LRIG1 has been associated with favorable prognosis and LRIG2 with poor prognosis in invasive cervical cancer, little is known about the role of LRIG3. The aim of this study was to investigate the expression of LRIG3 in invasive cancer and cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) for possible correlation with other tumor markers, to hormones and smoking, as a diagnostic adjunct in CIN, and prognostic value in invasive cancer. Cervical biopsies from 129 patients with invasive squamous cell carcinoma and 170 biopsies showing low grade and high grade CIN, or normal epithelium were stained for LRIG3 and 17 additional tumor markers. Among other variables the following were included: smoking habits, hormonal contraceptive use, serum progesterone, serum estradiol, high-risk HPV-infection, menopausal status and ten-year survival. In CIN, high expression of the tumor suppressors retinoblastoma protein, p53, and p16, and Ecadherin (cell-cell interaction), or low expression of CK10, correlated to LRIG3 expression. In addition, progestogenic contraceptive use correlated to high expression of LRIG3. In invasive cancer there was a correlation between expression of the major tumor promoter c-myc and high LRIG3 expression. High LRIG3 expression correlated significantly to presence of high-risk HPV infection in patients with normal epithelium and CIN. There was no correlation between LRIG3 expression and 10-year survival in patients with invasive cell cervical cancer. LRIG3 expression is associated with a number of molecular events in CIN. Expression also correlates to hormonal contraceptive use. The results on expression of other tumor markers suggest that LRIG3 is influenced by or influences a pattern of tumor markers in cancer and precancerous cells. Further studies are needed to elucidate if LRIG3 expression might be clinically useful.
PMCID: PMC4083316  PMID: 24998916
LRIG3; cervical cancer; cervical intraepithelial neoplasia; biological markers; human papillomavirus; hormonal contraceptives; smoking

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