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1.  Comprehensive Control of Human Papillomavirus Infections and Related Diseases 
Vaccine  2013;31(0 8):I1-31.
Infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) is recognized as one of the major causes of infection-related cancer worldwide, as well as the causal factor in other diseases. Strong evidence for a causal etiology with HPV has been stated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer for cancers of the cervix uteri, penis, vulva, vagina, anus and oropharynx (including base of the tongue and tonsils). Of the estimated 12.7 million new cancers occurring in 2008 worldwide, 4.8% were attributable to HPV infection, with substantially higher incidence and mortality rates seen in developing versus developed countries. In recent years, we have gained tremendous knowledge about HPVs and their interactions with host cells, tissues and the immune system; have validated and implemented strategies for safe and efficacious prophylactic vaccination against HPV infections; have developed increasingly sensitive and specific molecular diagnostic tools for HPV detection for use in cervical cancer screening; and have substantially increased global awareness of HPV and its many associated diseases in women, men, and children. While these achievements exemplify the success of biomedical research in generating important public health interventions, they also generate new and daunting challenges: costs of HPV prevention and medical care, the implementation of what is technically possible, socio-political resistance to prevention opportunities, and the very wide ranges of national economic capabilities and health care systems. Gains and challenges faced in the quest for comprehensive control of HPV infection and HPV-related cancers and other disease are summarized in this review. The information presented may be viewed in terms of a reframed paradigm of prevention of cervical cancer and other HPV-related diseases that will include strategic combinations of at least four major components: 1) routine introduction of HPV vaccines to women in all countries, 2) extension and simplification of existing screening programs using HPV-based technology, 3) extension of adapted screening programs to developing populations, and 4) consideration of the broader spectrum of cancers and other diseases preventable by HPV vaccination in women, as well as in men. Despite the huge advances already achieved, there must be ongoing efforts including international advocacy to achieve widespread—optimally universal—implementation of HPV prevention strategies in both developed and developing countries.
This article summarizes information from the chapters presented in a special ICO Monograph ‘Comprehensive Control of HPV Infections and Related Diseases’ Vaccine Volume 30, Supplement 5, 2012. Additional details on each subtopic and full information regarding the supporting literature references may be found in the original chapters.
PMCID: PMC4062073  PMID: 24229716
HPV; Cervical cancer; Anal cancer; Penile cancer; Vaginal cancer; Vulvar cancer; Oropharyngeal cancer; Screening; HPV vaccination; HPV testing; Prevention
2.  A Pooled Analysis of Alcohol Consumption and Risk of Multiple Myeloma in the International Multiple Myeloma Consortium 
Recent findings suggest that alcohol consumption may reduce risk of multiple myeloma (MM).
To better understand this relationship, we conducted an analysis of six case-control studies participating in the International Multiple Myeloma Consortium (1,567 cases, 7,296 controls). Summary odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) relating different measures of alcohol consumption and MM risk were computed by unconditional logistic regression with adjustment for age, race, and study center.
Cases were significantly less likely than controls to report ever drinking alcohol (men: OR 0.72, 95% CI 0.59-0.89, women: OR 0.81, 0.68-0.95). The inverse association with MM was stronger when comparing current to never drinkers (men: OR=0.57, 95% CI 0.45-0.72, women: OR=0.55, 95% CI 0.45-0.68), but null among former drinkers. We did not observe an exposure-response relationship with increasing alcohol frequency, duration or cumulative lifetime consumption. Additional adjustment for body mass index, education, or smoking did not affect our results; and the patterns of association were similar for each type of alcohol beverage examined.
Our study is, to our knowledge, the largest of its kind to date, and our findings suggest that alcohol consumption may be associated with reduced risk of MM.
Prospective studies, especially those conducted as pooled analyses with large sample sizes, are needed to confirm our findings and further explore whether alcohol consumption provides true biologic protection against this rare, highly fatal malignancy.
PMCID: PMC3769449  PMID: 23964064
3.  Protecting the underscreened women in developed countries: the value of HPV test 
BMC Cancer  2014;14(1):574.
Poor attendance to cervical cancer (CC) screening is a major risk factor for CC. Efforts to capture underscreened women are considerable and once women agree to participate, the provision of longitudinal validity of the screening test is of paramount relevance. We evaluate the addition of high risk HPV test (HPV) to cervical cytology as a primary screening test among underscreened women in the longitudinal prediction of intraepithelial lesions grade 2 or worse (CIN2+).
Women were included in the study if they were older than 39 years and with no evidence of cervical cytology in the previous five years within the Public Primary Health Care System in Catalonia (Spain). 1,832 underscreened women from eight public primary health areas were identified during 2007–2008 and followed-up for over three years to estimate longitudinal detection of CIN2+. Accuracy of each screening test and the combination of both to detect CIN2+ was estimated. The risk of developing CIN2+ lesions according to histology data by cytology and HPV test results at baseline was estimated using the Kaplan–Meier method.
At baseline, 6.7% of participants were HPV positive, 2.2% had an abnormal cytology and 1.3% had both tests positive. At the end of follow-up, 18 out of 767 (2.3%) underscreened women had a CIN2+, two of which were invasive CC. The three-year longitudinal sensitivity and specificity estimates to detect CIN2+ were 90.5% and 93.0% for HPV test and 38.2% and 97.8% for cytology. The negative predictive value was >99.0% for each test. No additional gains in validity parameters of HPV test were observed when adding cytology as co-test. The referral to colposcopy was higher for HPV but generated 53% higher detection of CIN2+ compared to cytology.
Underscreened women had high burden of cervical disease. Primary HPV screening followed by cytology triage could be the optimal strategy to identify CIN2+ leading to longer and safe screen intervals.
PMCID: PMC4137095  PMID: 25102758
Human papilloma virus; Cervical cytology; Pap smear; Cervical cancer screening; HC2 testing; HPV test; Sensitivity; Specificity; Underscreened women
4.  Prevalence of Human Papillomavirus in Adolescent Girls Before Reported Sexual Debut 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2014;210(6):837-845.
Background. Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines are recommended for girls prior to sexual debut because they are most effective if administered before girls acquire HPV. Little research has been done on HPV prevalence in girls who report not having passed sexual debut in high HPV-prevalence countries.
Methods. Using attendance registers of randomly selected primary schools in the Mwanza region of Tanzania, we enrolled girls aged 15–16 years who reported not having passed sexual debut. A face-to-face interview on sexual behavior and intravaginal practices, and a nurse-assisted self-administered vaginal swab were performed. Swabs were tested for 13 high-risk and 24 low-risk HPV genotypes.
Results. HPV was detected in 40/474 (8.4%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 5.9–11.0) girls. Ten different high-risk and 21 different low-risk genotypes were detected. High-risk genotypes were detected in 5.3% (95% CI, 3.5–7.8). In multivariable analysis, only intravaginal cleansing (practiced by 20.9%) was associated with HPV detection (adjusted odds ratio = 2.19, 95% CI, 1.09–4.39).
Conclusion. This cohort of adolescent Tanzanian girls had a high HPV prevalence prior to self-reported sexual debut, and this was associated with intravaginal cleansing. This most likely reflects underreporting of sexual activity, and it is possible that intravaginal cleansing is a marker for unreported sexual debut or nonpenetrative sexual behaviors.
PMCID: PMC4136803  PMID: 24740630
human papillomavirus; prevalence; sexual debut; sub–Saharan Africa
5.  Methylation of Human Papillomavirus Type 16 CpG Sites at E2-Binding Site 1 (E2BS1), E2BS2, and the Sp1-Binding Site in Cervical Cancer Samples as Determined by High-Resolution Melting Analysis–PCR 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2013;51(10):3207-3215.
High-risk (HR) human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated carcinogenesis is driven mainly by the overexpression of E7 and E6 oncoproteins following viral DNA integration and the concomitant loss of the E2 open reading frame (ORF). However, the integration of HR-HPV DNA is not systematically observed in cervical cancers. The E2 protein acts as a transcription factor that governs viral oncogene expression. The methylation of CpGs in the E2-binding sites (E2BSs) in the viral long control region abrogates E2 binding, thus impairing the E2-mediated regulation of E7/E6 transcription. Here, high-resolution melting (HRM)–PCR was developed to quantitatively analyze the methylation statuses of E2BS1, E2BS2, and the specificity protein 1 (Sp1)-binding site in 119 HPV16-positive cervical smears. This is a rapid assay that is suitable for the analysis of cervical samples. The proportion of cancer samples with methylated E2BS1, E2BS2, and Sp1-binding site CpGs was 47%, whereas the vast majority of samples diagnosed as being within normal limits, low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (LSIL), or high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL) harbored unmethylated CpGs. Methylation levels varied widely, since some cancer samples harbored up to 60% of methylated HPV16 genomes. A pyrosequencing approach was used as a confirmation test and highlighted that quantitative measurement of methylation can be achieved by HRM-PCR. Its prognostic value deserves to be investigated alone or in association with other biomarkers. The reliability of this single-tube assay offers great opportunities for the investigation of HPV16 methylation in other HPV-related cancers, such as head and neck cancers, which are a major public health burden.
PMCID: PMC3811632  PMID: 23863566
6.  Smoking, variation in N-acetyltransferase 1 (NAT1) and 2 (NAT2), and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma: a pooled analysis within the InterLymph consortium 
Cancer causes & control : CCC  2012;24(1):125-134.
Studies of smoking and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) have yielded inconsistent results, possibly due to subtype heterogeneity and/or genetic variation impacting the metabolism of tobacco-derived carcinogens, including substrates of the N-acetyltransferase enzymes NAT1 and NAT2.
We conducted a pooled analysis of 5,026 NHL cases and 4,630 controls from seven case–control studies in the international lymphoma epidemiology consortium to examine associations between smoking, variation in the N-acetyltransferase genes NAT1 and NAT2, and risk of NHL subtypes. Smoking data were harmonized across studies, and genetic variants in NAT1 and NAT2 were used to infer acetylation phenotype of the NAT1 and NAT2 enzymes, respectively. Pooled odds ratios (ORs) and 95 % confidence intervals (95 % CIs) for risk of NHL and subtypes were calculated using joint fixed effects unconditional logistic regression models.
Current smoking was associated with a significant 30 % increased risk of follicular lymphoma (n = 1,176) but not NHL overall or other NHL subtypes. The association was similar among NAT2 slow (OR 1.36; 95 % CI 1.07–1.75) and intermediate/rapid (OR 1.27; 95 % CI 0.95–1.69) acetylators (pinteraction = 0.82) and also did not differ by NAT1*10 allelotype. Neither NAT2 phenotype nor NAT1*10 allelotype was associated with risk of NHL overall or NHL subtypes.
The current findings provide further evidence for a modest association between current smoking and follicular lymphoma risk and suggest that this association may not be influenced by variation in the N-acetyltransferase enzymes.
PMCID: PMC3529854  PMID: 23160945
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma; Gene environment interaction; Cigarette smoking; N-acetyltransferase; Follicular lymphoma
7.  A functional TNFRSF5 polymorphism and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a pooled analysis 
Interaction between CD40 and its ligand, CD154, has a key function in immune regulation. Recent experimental data support a role of deregulated CD40 signalling in lymphomagenesis. Data from earlier studies that are part of this pooling study implicate a functional polymorphism (−1C>T, rs1883832) in the TNFRSF5 gene encoding CD40 in the etiology of follicular lymphoma. Here, the association of this variant with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) risk was replicated in a European multicenter study of 855 NHL cases and 1,206 controls. In the combined analysis of 2,617 cases and 3,605 controls, carrying the TT genotype was associated with an increased risk for all NHL (OR = 1.4; p for linear trend = 0.00009), diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (OR = 1.6; p for linear trend = 0.002) and follicular lymphoma (OR = 1.6; p for linear trend = 0.001). These data suggest a possible role of this functional polymorphism in lymphomas originating within the germinal center.
PMCID: PMC3876741  PMID: 20473910
lymphoma; TNFRSF5; CD40; polymorphism; epidemiology
8.  EUROGIN 2011 roadmap on prevention and treatment of HPV-related disease 
The EUROGIN 2011 roadmap reviews the current burden of HPV (human papillomavirus)-related morbidity, as well as the evidence and potential practice recommendations regarding primary and secondary prevention and treatment of cancers and other disease associated with HPV infection.
HPV infection causes approximately 600,000 cases of cancer of the cervix, vulva, vagina, anus and oropharynx annually, as well as benign diseases such as genital warts and recurrent respiratory papillomatosis. Whereas the incidence of cervical cancer has been decreasing over recent decades, the incidence of anal and oropharyngeal carcinoma, for which there are no effective screening programs, has been rising over the last couple of decades.
Randomised trials have demonstrated improved efficacy of HPV-based compared to cytology-based cervical cancer screening. Defining the best algorithms to triage HPV-positive women, age ranges and screening intervals are priorities for pooled analyses and further research, whereas feasibility questions can be addressed through screening programmes.
HPV vaccination will reduce the burden of cervical precancer and probably also of invasive cervical and other HPV-related disease in women. Recent trials demonstrated that prophylactic vaccination also protects against anogenital HPV infection, ano-genital intraepithelial lesions and warts associated with vaccine types, in males; and anal HPV infection and anal intraepithelial neoplasia in MSM. HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer could be treated less aggressively because of better survival compared to cancers of the oropharynx unrelated to HPV.
Key findings in the field of cervical cancer prevention should now be translated in cost-effective strategies, following an organised approach integrating primary and secondary prevention, according to scientific evidence but adapted to the local situation with particular attention to regions with the highest burden of disease.
PMCID: PMC3429628  PMID: 22623137
cervical cancer; vulvar cancer; anal cancer; penile cancer; head & neck cancer; genital warts; incidence; mortality; human papillomavirus; HPV; screening; vaccination
10.  A comprehensive study of polymorphisms in the ABCB1, ABCC2, ABCG2, NR1I2 genes and lymphoma risk 
Owing to their role in controlling the efflux of toxic compounds, transporters are central players in the process of detoxification and elimination of xenobiotics, which in turn is related to cancer risk. Among these transporters, ATP-binding cassette B1/multidrug resistance 1 (ABCB1/MDR1), ABCC2/multidrug resistance protein 2 (MRP2), and ABCG2/breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP) affect susceptibility to many hematopoietic malignancies. The maintenance of regulated expression of these transporters is governed through the activation of intracellular “xenosensors” like the nuclear receptor 1I2/pregnane X receptor (NR1I2/PXR). SNPs in genes encoding these regulators have also been implicated in the risk of several cancers. Using a tagging approach, we tested the hypothesis that common polymorphisms in the transporter genes ABCB1, ABCC2, ABCG2, and the regulator gene NR1I2 could be implicated in lymphoma risk. We selected 68 SNPs in the 4 genes, and we genotyped them in 1,481 lymphoma cases and 1,491 controls of the European cases-control study (EpiLymph) using the Illumina™ GoldenGate assay technology.Carriers of the SNP rs6857600 minor allele in ABCG2, was associated with a decrease in risk of B-cell lymphoma (B-NHL) overall (p<0.001). Furthermore, a decreased risk of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) was associated with the ABCG2 rs2231142 variant (p=0.0004), which could be replicated in an independent population. These results suggest a role for this gene in B-NHL susceptibility, especially for CLL.
PMCID: PMC3432449  PMID: 21918980
Lymphoma; multidrug resistance 1 (MDR1); multidrug resistance protein 2 (MRP2); breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP); pregnane X receptor (PXR)
11.  Genome-Wide Association Study of Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma and Epstein–Barr Virus Status–Defined Subgroups 
Accumulating evidence suggests that risk factors for classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) differ by tumor Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) status. This potential etiological heterogeneity is not recognized in current disease classification.
We conducted a genome-wide association study of 1200 cHL patients and 6417 control subjects, with validation in an independent replication series, to identify common genetic variants associated with total cHL and subtypes defined by tumor EBV status. Multiple logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) assuming a log-additive genetic model for the variants. All statistical tests were two-sided.
Two novel loci associated with total cHL irrespective of EBV status were identified in the major histocompatibility complex region; one resides adjacent to MICB (rs2248462: OR = 0.61, 95% CI = 0.53 to 0.69, P = 1.3 × 10−13) and the other at HLA-DRA (rs2395185: OR = 0.56, 95% CI = 0.50 to 0.62, P = 8.3 × 10−25) with both results confirmed in an independent replication series. Consistent with previous reports, associations were found between EBV-positive cHL and genetic variants within the class I region (rs2734986, HLA-A: OR = 2.45, 95% CI = 2.00 to 3.00, P = 1.2 × 10−15; rs6904029, HCG9: OR = 0.46, 95% CI = 0.36 to 0.59, P = 5.5 × 10−10) and between EBV-negative cHL and rs6903608 within the class II region (rs6903608, HLA-DRA: OR = 2.08, 95% CI = 1.84 to 2.35, P = 6.1 × 10−31). The association between rs6903608 and EBV-negative cHL was confined to the nodular sclerosis histological subtype. Evidence for an association between EBV-negative cHL and rs20541 (5q31, IL13: OR = 1.53, 95% CI = 1.32 to 1.76, P = 5.4 x 10−9), a variant previously linked to psoriasis and asthma, was observed; however, the evidence for replication was less clear. Notably, one additional psoriasis-associated variant, rs27524 (5q15, ERAP1), showed evidence of an association with cHL in the genome-wide association study (OR = 1.21, 95% CI = 1.10 to 1.33, P = 1.5 × 10−4) and replication series (P = .03).
Overall, these results provide strong evidence that EBV status is an etiologically important classification of cHL and also suggest that some components of the pathological process are common to both EBV-positive and EBV-negative patients.
PMCID: PMC3274508  PMID: 22286212
12.  Potential impact of a nine-valent vaccine in human papillomavirus related cervical disease 
Information on human papillomavirus (HPV) type distribution is necessary to evaluate the potential impact of current and future HPV vaccines. We estimated the relative contribution (RC) to invasive cervical cancer (ICC) and precancerous cervical lesions of the nine HPV types (HPV 6/11/16/18/31/33/45/52/58) included in an HPV vaccine currently under development.
Estimations on ICC were based on an international study of 8,977 HPV positive cases and estimations on precancerous cervical lesions were extracted from a published meta-analysis including 115,789 HPV positive women. Globocan 2008 and 2010 World Population Prospects were used to estimate current and future projections of new ICC cases.
RC of the 9 HPV types in ICC was 89.4%, with 18.5% of cases positive for HPV 31/33/45/52/58. Regional variations were observed. RCs varied by histology, ranging between 89.1% in squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) and 95.5% in adenocarcinomas (ADC). HPV 16/18/45 were detected in 94.2% of ADC. RC of the 9 types altogether decreased with age (trend test p < 0.0001), driven by the decrease in older ages of HPV 16/18/45. In contrast, the RC of HPV 31/33/52/58 increased with age. Due to population growth alone, projected estimates of ICC cases attributable to the 9 types are expected to rise from 493,770 new cases in 2012 to 560,887 new cases in 2025.
The RCs of individual high risk HPV types varied by cytological and histological grades of HPV-positive precancerous cervical lesions, and there was an under representation of HPV 18 and 45 compared to ICC.
The addition of HPV 31/33/45/52/58 to HPV types included in current vaccines could prevent almost 90% of ICC cases worldwide. If the nine-valent vaccine achieves the same degree of efficacy than previous vaccines, world incidence rates could be substantially reduced.
PMCID: PMC3554470  PMID: 23273245
Human papillomavirus; Cervical cancer; Genotype; Epidemiology; Human papillomavirus vaccines
13.  Common Infectious Agents and Monoclonal B-Cell Lymphocytosis: A Cross-Sectional Epidemiological Study among Healthy Adults 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(12):e52808.
Risk factors associated with monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis (MBL), a potential precursor of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), remain unknown.
Using a cross-sectional study design, we investigated demographic, medical and behavioural risk factors associated with MBL. “Low-count” MBL (cases) were defined as individuals with very low median absolute count of clonal B-cells, identified from screening of healthy individuals and the remainder classified as controls. 452 individuals completed a questionnaire with their general practitioner, both blind to the MBL status of the subject. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) for MBL were estimated by means of unconditional logistic regression adjusted for confounding factors.
MBL were detected in 72/452 subjects (16%). Increasing age was strongly associated with MBL (P-trend<0.001). MBL was significantly less common among individuals vaccinated against pneumococcal or influenza (OR 0.49, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.25 to 0.95; P-value = 0.03 and OR: 0.52, 95% CI: 0.29 to 0.93, P-value = 0.03, respectively). Albeit based on small numbers, cases were more likely to report infectious diseases among their children, respiratory disease among their siblings and personal history of pneumonia and meningitis. No other distinguishing epidemiological features were identified except for family history of cancer and an inverse relationship with diabetes treatment. All associations described above were retained after restricting the analysis to CLL-like MBL.
Overall, these findings suggest that exposure to infectious agents leading to serious clinical manifestations in the patient or its surroundings may trigger immune events leading to MBL. This exploratory study provides initial insights and directions for future research related to MBL, a potential precursor of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. Further work is warranted to confirm these findings.
PMCID: PMC3532166  PMID: 23285188
14.  HPV Prevention series 
Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is a major leading cause of Human Cancer. Through the HPV Prevention series we would like to highlight the quality and the breadth of the research being carried out on the Control and Prevention of HPV and HPV related disease. This series aims to bring together a diverse range of HPV related specialties featuring research that has as ultimate goal insights into HPV related disease reduction. Articles within a wide range of topics such as natural history studies, impact of screening interventions or impact of HPV vaccines will be most welcome.
PMCID: PMC3554514  PMID: 23256647
15.  Multiple Myeloma and lifetime occupation: results from the EPILYMPH study 
The EPILYMPH study applied a detailed occupational exposure assessment approach to a large multi-centre case–control study conducted in six European countries. This paper analysed multiple myeloma (MM) risk associated with level of education, and lifetime occupational history and occupational exposures, based on the EPILYMPH data set.
277 MM cases and four matched controls per each case were included. Controls were randomly selected, matching for age (+/− 5 years), centre and gender. Lifetime occupations and lifetime exposure to specific workplace agents was obtained through a detailed questionnaire. Local industrial hygienists assessed likelihood and intensity for specific exposures. The odds ratio and 95% confidence intervals (OR, 95% CI) were calculated for level of education, individual occupations and specific exposures. Unconditional logistic regression models were run for individual occupations and exposures.
A low level of education was associated with MM OR=1.68 (95% CI 1.02-2.76). An increased risk was observed for general farmers (OR=1.77; 95% CI 1.05-2.99) and cleaning workers (OR=1.69; 95% CI 1.04-2.72) adjusting for level of education. Risk was also elevated, although not significant, for printers (OR=2.06; 95% CI 0.97-4.34). Pesticide exposure over a period of ten years or more increased MM risk (OR=1.62; 95% CI 1.01-2.58).
These results confirm an association of MM with farm work, and indicate its association with printing and cleaning. While prolonged exposure to pesticides seems to be a risk factor for MM, an excess risk associated with exposure to organic solvents could not be confirmed.
PMCID: PMC3557218  PMID: 23241100
Multiple Myeloma; Occupation; Pesticide; Epidemiology; Case–control study; EPILYMPH study
16.  Human Papillomavirus Infection in HIV-1 Infected Women in Catalonia (Spain): Implications for Prevention of Cervical Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e47755.
High-risk human Papillomavirus infection is a necessary factor for cervical squamous intraepithelial lesions and invasive cervical cancer. In HIV-1-infected women, HPV infection is more prevalent and a higher risk of cervical cancer has been identified. We aimed to calculate the prevalence of infection by HR-HPV, determine the factors associated with this infection and abnormal cytology findings and to describe the history of cervical cancer screening in HIV-1-infected women.
We enrolled 479 HIV-1–infected women from the PISCIS cohort. Each patient underwent a gynecological check-up, PAP smear, HPV AND Hybrid capture, HPV genotyping, and colposcopy and biopsy, if necessary. We applied questionnaires to obtain information on sociodemographic, behavioral, clinical, and cervical screening variables. We present a cross-sectional analysis.
Median age was 42 years. The prevalence of HR-HPV infection was 33.2% and that of high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL) was 3.8%. The most common genotypes were 16(23%), 53(20.3%), and 52(16.2%). The factor associated with HR-HPV infection was age <30 years (odds ratio[OR],2.5; 95%confidence interval[CI],1.1–5.6). The factors associated with the presence of HSIL or low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (LSIL) were CD4T-lymphocyte count <200cells/mm3 versus >500cells/mm3 (OR,8.4; 95%CI,3.7–19.2), HIV-1 viral load >10,000copies/mL versus <400copies/mL (OR,2.1; 95%CI,1.0–4.4), and use of oral contraceptives (OR,2.0; 95%CI,1.0–3.9). Sixty percent of HIV-1–infected women had had one Pap smear within the last 2 years.
The high prevalence of HPV infection and cervical lesions in the HIV-1–infected population in Catalonia, as well as the low coverage and frequency of screening in this group, means that better preventive efforts are necessary and should include vaccination against HPV, better accessibility to screening programs, training of health care professionals, and specific health education for HIV-1–infected women.
PMCID: PMC3484159  PMID: 23118894
17.  Reasons for Receiving or Not Receiving HPV Vaccination in Primary Schoolgirls in Tanzania: A Case Control Study 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e45231.
There are few data on factors influencing human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination uptake in sub-Saharan Africa. We examined the characteristics of receivers and non-receivers of HPV vaccination in Tanzania and identified reasons for not receiving the vaccine.
We conducted a case control study of HPV vaccine receivers and non-receivers within a phase IV cluster-randomised trial of HPV vaccination in 134 primary schools in Tanzania. Girls who failed to receive vaccine (pupil cases) and their parents/guardians (adult cases) and girls who received dose 1 (pupil controls) of the quadrivalent vaccine (Gardasil™) and their parents/guardians (adult controls) were enrolled from 39 schools in a 1∶1 ratio and interviewed about cervical cancer, HPV vaccine knowledge and reasons why they might have received or not received the vaccine. Conditional logistic regression was used to determine factors independently associated with not receiving HPV vaccine.
We interviewed 159 pupil/adult cases and 245 pupil/adult controls. Adult-factors independently associated with a daughter being a case were older age, owning fewer household items, not attending a school meeting about HPV vaccine, and not knowing anyone with cancer. Pupil-factors for being a case included having a non-positive opinion about the school de-worming programme, poor knowledge about the location of the cervix, and not knowing that a vaccine could prevent cervical cancer. Reasons for actively refusing vaccination included concerns about side effects and infertility. Most adult and pupil cases reported that they would accept the HPV vaccine if it were offered again (97% and 93% respectively).
Sensitisation messages, especially targeted at older and poorer parents, knowledge retention and parent meetings are critical for vaccine acceptance in Tanzania. Vaccine side effects and fertility concerns should be addressed prior to a national vaccination program. Parents and pupils who initially decline vaccination should be given an opportunity to reconsider their decision.
PMCID: PMC3480345  PMID: 23115621
18.  A qualitative study of HPV vaccine acceptability among health workers, teachers, parents, female pupils, and religious leaders in northwest Tanzania 
Vaccine  2012;30(36):5363-5367.
► The acceptability of HPV vaccination in Tanzania was studied qualitatively. ► Non-health workers knew nothing about HPV and HPV vaccines. ► Very few health workers (HWs) knew about HPV and HPV vaccines. ► After a brief explanation most of both groups supported HPV vaccination. ► Community and HW sensitisation will be needed before introducing HPV vaccination.
As human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines become available in developing countries, acceptability studies can help to better understand potential barriers and facilitators of HPV vaccination and guide immunisation programs.
Prior to a cluster-randomised phase IV trial of HPV vaccination delivery strategies in Mwanza Region, Tanzania, qualitative research was conducted to assess attitudes and knowledge about cervical cancer and HPV, and acceptability of and potential barriers to HPV vaccination of Tanzanian primary schoolgirls. Semi-structured interviews (n = 31) and group discussions (n = 12) were conducted with a total of 169 respondents (parents, female pupils, teachers, health workers and religious leaders).
While participants had heard of cancer in general, most respondents had no knowledge of cervical cancer, HPV, or HPV vaccines. Only health workers had heard of cervical cancer but very few knew its cause or had any awareness about HPV vaccines. After participants were provided with information about cervical cancer and HPV vaccination, the majority stated that they would support HPV vaccination of their daughter to protect them against cervical cancer. Opt-out consent for vaccination was considered acceptable. Most preferred age-based vaccination, saying this would target more girls before sexual debut than class-based vaccination. Potential side effects and infertility concerns were raised by 5/14 of participating male teachers.
Reported acceptability of HPV vaccination amongst parents, teachers and other community members was high in this population. Respondents stressed the need to provide adequate information about the vaccine to parents, that also addresses side effects and infertility concerns.
PMCID: PMC3409375  PMID: 22732428
Human papillomavirus; Vaccine; Acceptability; Schools; Barriers; Tanzania
19.  Human Papillomavirus Vaccination in Tanzanian Schoolgirls: Cluster-Randomized Trial Comparing 2 Vaccine-Delivery Strategies 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2012;206(5):678-686.
Background.We compared vaccine coverage achieved by 2 different delivery strategies for the quadrivalent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in Tanzanian schoolgirls.
Methods.In a cluster-randomized trial of HPV vaccination conducted in Tanzania, 134 primary schools were randomly assigned to class-based (girls enrolled in primary school grade [class] 6) or age-based (girls born in 1998; 67 schools per arm) vaccine delivery. The primary outcome was coverage by dose.
Results.There were 3352 and 2180 eligible girls in schools randomized to class-based and age-based delivery, respectively. HPV vaccine coverage was 84.7% for dose 1, 81.4% for dose 2, and 76.1% for dose 3. For each dose, coverage was higher in class-based schools than in age-based schools (dose 1: 86.4% vs 82.0% [P = .30]; dose 2: 83.8% vs 77.8% [P = .05]; and dose 3: 78.7% vs 72.1% [P = .04]). Vaccine-related adverse events were rare. Reasons for not vaccinating included absenteeism (6.3%) and parent refusal (6.7%). School absenteeism rates prior to vaccination ranged from 8.1% to 23.5%.
Conclusions.HPV vaccine can be delivered with high coverage in schools in sub-Saharan Africa. Compared with age-based vaccination, class-based vaccination located more eligible pupils and achieved higher coverage. HPV vaccination did not increase absenteeism rates in selected schools. Innovative strategies will be needed to reach out-of-school girls.
Clinical Trials Registration. NCT01173900.
PMCID: PMC3414230  PMID: 22711908
20.  Whole-genome sequencing identifies recurrent mutations in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia 
Nature  2011;475(7354):101-105.
Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), the most frequent leukaemia in adults in Western countries, is a heterogeneous disease with variable clinical presentation and evolution1,2. Two major molecular subtypes can be distinguished, characterized respectively by a high or low number of somatic hypermutations in the variable region of immunoglobulin genes3,4. The molecular changes leading to the pathogenesis of the disease are still poorly understood. Here we performed whole-genome sequencing of four cases of CLL and identified 46 somatic mutations that potentially affect gene function. Further analysis of these mutations in 363 patients with CLL identified four genes that are recurrently mutated: notch 1 (NOTCH1), exportin 1 (XPO1), myeloid differentiation primary response gene 88 (MYD88) and kelch-like 6 (KLHL6). Mutations in MYD88 and KLHL6 are predominant in cases of CLL with mutated immunoglobulin genes, whereas NOTCH1 and XPO1 mutations are mainly detected in patients with unmutated immunoglobulins. The patterns of somatic mutation, supported by functional and clinical analyses, strongly indicate that the recurrent NOTCH1, MYD88 and XPO1 mutations are oncogenic changes that contribute to the clinical evolution of the disease. To our knowledge, this is the first comprehensive analysis of CLL combining whole-genome sequencing with clinical characteristics and clinical outcomes. It highlights the usefulness of this approach for the identification of clinically relevant mutations in cancer.
PMCID: PMC3322590  PMID: 21642962
21.  Prediction of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2+ (CIN2+) using HPV DNA testing after a diagnosis of atypical squamous cell of undetermined significance (ASC-US) in Catalonia, Spain 
A protocol for cervical cancer screening among sexually active women 25 to 65 years of age was introduced in 2006 in Catalonia, Spain to increase coverage and to recommend a 3-year-interval between screening cytology. In addition, Human Papillomavirus (HPV) was offered as a triage test for women with a diagnosis of atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASC-US). HPV testing was recommended within 3 months of ASC-US diagnosis. According to protocol, HPV negative women were referred to regular screening including a cytological exam every 3 years while HPV positive women were referred to colposcopy and closer follow-up. We evaluated the implementation of the protocol and the prediction of HPV testing as a triage tool for cervical intraepithelial lesions grade two or worse (CIN2+) in women with a cytological diagnosis of ASC-US.
During 2007-08 a total of 611 women from five reference laboratories in Catalonia with a novel diagnosis of ASC-US were referred for high risk HPV (hrHPV) triage using high risk Hybrid Capture version 2. Using routine record linkage data, women were followed for 3 years to evaluate hrHPV testing efficacy for predicting CIN2+ cases. Logistic regression analysis was used to estimate the odds ratio for CIN2 +.
Among the 611 women diagnosed with ASC-US, 493 (80.7%) had at least one follow-up visit during the study period. hrHPV was detected in 48.3% of the women at study entry (mean age 35.2 years). hrHPV positivity decreased with increasing age from 72.6% among women younger than 25 years to 31.6% in women older than 54 years (p < 0.01).
At the end of the 3 years follow-up period, 37 women with a diagnosis of CIN2+ (18 CIN2, 16 CIN3, 2 cancers, and 1 with high squamous intraepithelial lesions -HSIL) were identified and all but one had a hrHPV positive test at study entry. Sensitivity to detect CIN2+ of hrHPV was 97.2% (95%confidence interval (CI) = 85.5-99.9) and specificity was 68.3% (95%CI = 63.1-73.2). The odds ratio for CIN2+ was 45.3 (95% CI: 6.2-333.0), when among ASC-US hrHPV positive women were compared to ASC-US hrHPV negative women.
Triage of ASC-US with hrHPV testing showed a high sensitivity for the detection of CIN2+ and a high negative predictive value after 3 years of follow-up. The results of this study are in line with the current guidelines for triage of women with ASC-US in the target age range of 25-65. Non adherence to guidelines will lead to unnecessary medical interventions. Further investigation is needed to improve specificity of ASC-US triage.
PMCID: PMC3332282  PMID: 22280073
Human papillomavirus (HPV); Diagnosis of atypical squamous cell of undetermined significance (ASC-US); Triage; cervical cancer screening; hrHC2 testing
22.  Performance of the digene LQ, RH and PS HPVs genotyping systems on clinical samples and comparison with HC2 and PCR-based Linear Array 
Certain Human Papillomaviruses (HPVs) are the infectious agents involved in cervical cancer development. Detection of HPVs DNA is part of the cervical cancer screening protocols and HPVs genotyping has been proposed for its inclusion in these preventive programs. The aim of this study was to evaluate three novel genotyping tests, namely Qiagen LQ, RH and PS, in clinical samples with and without abnormalities. For this, 305 cervical samples were processed and the results of the evaluated techniques were compared with those obtained in the HPVs diagnostic process in our lab, by using HC2 and Linear Array (LA) technologies.
The concordances and kappa statistics (k) for each technique compared with HC2 were 98.69% (k = 0.94) for LQ, 98.03% (k = 0.91) for RH and 91.80% (k = 0.82) for PS. There was a very good agreement in HPVs type-specific concordance for the most prevalent types HPV16 (kappa range = 0.83-0.90), HPV18 (k.r.= 0.74-0.80) and HPV45 (k.r.= 0.82-0.90).
The three tests showed an overall good concordance for HPVs detection when compared with HR-HC2 system. LQ and RH rendered lower detection rate for multiple infections than LA genotyping. However, our understanding of the clinical significance of multiple HPVs infections is still incomplete and therefore the relevance of the lower ability to detect multiple infections needs to be evaluated.
PMCID: PMC3226430  PMID: 22093164
Papillomaviruses; HPV; genotyping; cervical cancer screening
23.  Genome-wide association study of follicular lymphoma identifies a risk locus at 6p21.32 
Nature genetics  2010;42(8):661-664.
To identify susceptibility loci for non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) subtypes, we conducted a three-stage genome-wide association study. We identified two variants associated with follicular lymphoma (FL) in 1,465 FL cases/6,958 controls at 6p21.32 (rs10484561, rs7755224, r2=1.0; combined p-values=1.12×10-29, 2.00×10-19), providing further support that MHC genetic variation influences FL susceptibility. Confirmatory evidence of a previously reported association was also found between chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma and rs735665 (combined p-value=4.24×10-9).
PMCID: PMC2913472  PMID: 20639881
24.  Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) and Lymphotoxin-α (LTA) Polymorphisms and Risk of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in the InterLymph Consortium 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2010;171(3):267-276.
In an International Lymphoma Epidemiology Consortium pooled analysis, polymorphisms in 2 immune-system-related genes, tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and interleukin-10 (IL10), were associated with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) risk. Here, 8,847 participants were added to previous data (patients diagnosed from 1989 to 2005 in 14 case-control studies; 7,999 cases, 8,452 controls) for testing of polymorphisms in the TNF –308G>A (rs1800629), lymphotoxin-α (LTA) 252A>G (rs909253), IL10 –3575T>A (rs1800890, rs1800896), and nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain containing 2 (NOD2) 3020insC (rs2066847) genes. Odds ratios were estimated for non-Hispanic whites and several ethnic subgroups using 2-sided tests. Consistent with previous findings, odds ratios were increased for “new” participant TNF –308A carriers (NHL: per-allele odds ratio (ORallelic) = 1.10, Ptrend = 0.001; diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL): ORallelic = 1.23, Ptrend = 0.004). In the combined population, odds ratios were increased for TNF –308A carriers (NHL: ORallelic = 1.13, Ptrend = 0.0001; DLBCL: ORallelic = 1.25, Ptrend = 3.7 × 10−6; marginal zone lymphoma: ORallelic = 1.35, Ptrend = 0.004) and LTA 252G carriers (DLBCL: ORallelic = 1.12, Ptrend = 0.006; mycosis fungoides: ORallelic = 1.44, Ptrend = 0.015). The LTA 252A>G/TNF –308G>A haplotype containing the LTA/TNF variant alleles was strongly associated with DLBCL (P = 2.9 × 10−8). Results suggested associations between IL10 –3575T>A and DLBCL (Ptrend = 0.02) and IL10 –1082A>G and mantle cell lymphoma (Ptrend = 0.04). These findings strengthen previous results for DLBCL and the LTA 252A>G/TNF –308A locus and provide robust evidence that these TNF/LTA gene variants, or others in linkage disequilibrium, are involved in NHL etiology.
PMCID: PMC2842204  PMID: 20047977
lymphoma; lymphoma, non-Hodgkin; lymphotoxin-alpha; meta-analysis; polymorphism, genetic; polymorphism, single nucleotide; tumor necrosis factor-alpha
25.  Occupational Exposure to High Molecular Weight Allergens and Lymphoma Risk Among Italian Adults 
Exposure to high molecular weight (HMW) allergens that provoke immune reactivity through an immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated pathway has been associated with a decreased risk of B-cell lymphoma. The present analysis was conducted to assess the associations between occupational exposure to specific HMW allergens and the risk of B-cell, T-cell, and Hodgkin's lymphomas.
We analyzed data from 2290 incident lymphoma cases and 1771 population-based controls enrolled in a multi-center study of hematolymphopoietic malignancies conducted in Italy between 1991 and 1993. All cases were histologically or cytologically confirmed. Controls were frequency-matched to cases based on age, sex, and study center. An industrial hygienist evaluated HMW occupational exposure classifications after an asthma-specific job exposure matrix was applied to participants' job histories. Unconditional logistic regression was used to assess associations between occupational exposures that occurred ≥10 years before the date of lymphoma diagnosis and B-cell, T-cell, and Hodgkin's lymphomas.
Ten percent of cases and 11 percent of controls were occupationally exposed to HMW allergens. Exposed individuals had a decreased risk for all lymphomas combined (odds ratio (OR): 0.78, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.63, 0.97), particularly for B-cell lymphomas (OR: 0.75, 95% CI: 0.59, 0.94). The decreased risks for all lymphomas were also observed when HMW allergen exposure was limited to animal and latex allergens.
These findings support the hypothesis that occupational exposure to immunologically active HMW allergens is inversely associated with the risk for lymphoma. The effect of exposure to specific allergens warrants further assessment.
PMCID: PMC2762781  PMID: 19755650
allergens; case-control studies; epidemiology; lymphoma; occupational exposure

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