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1.  Nativity disparities in late-stage diagnosis and cause-specific survival among Hispanic women with invasive cervical cancer: An analysis of Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results data 
Cancer causes & control : CCC  2013;24(11):1985-1994.
While cervical cancer screening and risk behaviors have been found to vary among U.S.- and foreign-born Hispanic women, many cancer epidemiology studies have conceptualized Hispanics as a homogenous group. Here we examine differences in cervical cancer stage at diagnosis and survival among Hispanic women by nativity.
We use data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program, 1998–2008. Nativity was based on place of birth and was categorized as U.S.- versus foreign-born. Distant and regional tumors were classified as late-stage, while local tumors were classified as early-stage.
Forty seven percent of cases of invasive cervical cancer among Hispanics were diagnosed at a late stage and over half of invasive cervical cancer cases were among foreign-born women. Foreign-born Hispanic women were significantly more likely than U.S.-born Hispanics to have late-stage diagnosis, after adjusting for age at diagnosis and tumor histology (adjusted odds ration= 1.09, p-value = 0.003). There was heterogeneity in the association between nativity and survival by stage at diagnosis. Among cases with early-stage diagnosis, survival was poorer among foreign-born versus U.S.-born Hispanics after adjusting for age at diagnosis, histology, and cancer-directed therapy (adjusted HR = 1.31, p-value = 0.030). However, among cases with late-stage diagnosis, survival was better among foreign--born Hispanics (adjusted HR = 0.81, p-value < 0.001).
We hypothesize that nativity differences in survival may be indicative of diverse risk, screening, and treatment profiles. Given such differences, it may be inappropriate to aggregate Hispanics as a single group for cervical cancer research.
PMCID: PMC4115245  PMID: 23934001
Cervical cancer; Hispanic; SEER program; survival; stage at diagnosis; nativity
2.  Evaluation of HPV Infection and Smoking Status Impacts on Cell Proliferation in Epithelial Layers of Cervical Neoplasia 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e107088.
Accurate cervical intra-epithelial neoplasia (CIN) lesion grading is needed for effective patient management. We applied computer-assisted scanning and analytic approaches to immuno-stained CIN lesion sections to more accurately delineate disease states and decipher cell proliferation impacts from HPV and smoking within individual epithelial layers. A patient cohort undergoing cervical screening was identified (n = 196) and biopsies of varying disease grades and with intact basement membranes and epithelial layers were obtained (n = 261). Specimens were sectioned, stained (Mib1), and scanned using a high-resolution imaging system. We achieved semi-automated delineation of proliferation status and epithelial cell layers using Otsu segmentation, manual image review, Voronoi tessellation, and immuno-staining. Data were interrogated against known status for HPV infection, smoking, and disease grade. We observed increased cell proliferation and decreased epithelial thickness with increased disease grade (when analyzing the epithelium at full thickness). Analysis within individual cell layers showed a ≥50% increase in cell proliferation for CIN2 vs. CIN1 lesions in higher epithelial layers (with minimal differences seen in basal/parabasal layers). Higher rates of proliferation for HPV-positive vs. -negative cases were seen in epithelial layers beyond the basal/parabasal layers in normal and CIN1 tissues. Comparing smokers vs. non-smokers, we observed increased cell proliferation in parabasal (low and high grade lesions) and basal layers (high grade only). In sum, we report CIN grade-specific differences in cell proliferation within individual epithelial layers. We also show HPV and smoking impacts on cell layer-specific proliferation. Our findings yield insight into CIN progression biology and demonstrate that rigorous, semi-automated imaging of histopathological specimens may be applied to improve disease grading accuracy.
PMCID: PMC4161429  PMID: 25210770
3.  Nativity differences in behaviors associated with high-risk HPV infection among Hispanic women in Houston, Texas, USA 
While Hispanics in the U.S. are a population with significant within-group heterogeneity, epidemiologic studies often aggregate Hispanics into one homogenous group without considering differences by nativity. The objective of this study is to evaluate nativity differences in the risk behavior profile associated with prevalent high risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) among U.S.- and foreign-born Hispanic women. Using a clinical trial dataset, we compare risk behavior and HR-HPV infection patterns among U.S.- and foreign-born participants and assess factors associated with infection in each group. While the prevalence of HR-HPV infection was similar among U.S.- and foreign-born participants, U.S.-born cases had a higher HR-HPV risk profile. The similar prevalence of HR-HPV despite foreign-born women's lower risk profile suggests a role for unmeasured risk factors among foreign-born Hispanics. More importantly, nativity differences in behavioral risk factors associated with HR-HPV suggest the need to further research cervical cancer risk factors among disaggregated Hispanic subgroups.
PMCID: PMC3675190  PMID: 23300005
Human Papillomavirus; risk behaviors; sexual behaviors; Hispanics; nativity
4.  Association of traffic-related hazardous air pollutants and cervical dysplasia in an urban multiethnic population: a cross-sectional study 
Environmental Health  2014;13:52.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is a necessary cause in the development of cervical cancer; however, not all women infected with HPV develop cervical cancer indicating that other risk factors are involved. Our objective was to determine the association between exposure to ambient levels of common traffic-related air toxics and cervical dysplasia, a precursor lesion for cervical cancer.
The study sample consisted of women enrolled in a Phase II clinical trial to evaluate diagnostic techniques for cervical disease in Houston, Texas. The current assessment is a secondary data analysis in which cases were defined as women diagnosed with cervical dysplasia, while those without cervical dysplasia served as controls. Residential census tract-level estimates of ambient benzene, diesel particulate matter (DPM), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were used to assess exposure. Census tract-level pollutant estimates were obtained from the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Multivariable logistic regression was used to estimate prevalence odds ratios (aOR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) adjusted for age, race/ethnicity, education, smoking status, and HPV status.
Women in the highest residential exposure categories for benzene and DPM had an increased prevalence of cervical dysplasia compared to the lowest exposure category (Benzene: aOR [95% CI] for high exposure = 1.97[1.07-3.62], very high exposure = 2.30[1.19-4.46]. DPM: aOR [95% CI] for high exposure = 2.83[1.55-5.16], very high exposure = 2.10[1.07-4.11]). Similarly, women with high residential exposure to PAHs had an increased prevalence of cervical dysplasia (aOR [95% CI] = 2.46[1.35-4.48]). The highest PAH exposure category was also positively associated with cervical dysplasia prevalence but was not statistically significant. Assessment of the combined effect of HAP exposure indicates that exposure to high levels of more than one HAP is positively associated with cervical dysplasia prevalence (p for trend = 0.004).
Traffic-related HAPs, such as benzene, DPM, and PAHs, are not as well-regulated and monitored as criteria air pollutants (e.g., ozone), underscoring the need for studies evaluating the role of these toxicants on disease risk. Our results suggest that exposure to traffic-related air toxics may increase cervical dysplasia prevalence.
PMCID: PMC4063240  PMID: 24924773
Benzene; Cervical dysplasia; Diesel particulate matter; Hazardous air pollutants; Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
5.  Sociodemographic Factors Associated with Pap Test Adherence and Cervical Dysplasia in Surgically Sterilized Women 
Routine dysplasia screening decreases the rates of cervical cancer. Since many women seek gynecological care to secure contraception, it was hypothesized that sterilized women will be less likely to undergo routine cervical cancer screening. Prior studies tried to evaluate this relationship, but results were conflicting. The study sought to further explore the sociodemographic and behavioral risk factors that might predispose sterilized women to be screening non-adherent and more likely to have cervical dysplasia.
Secondary analysis of women (n=1688) enrolled in a cross-sectional study in North America and divided into screening (n=925) and diagnostic (n=763) groups was performed. Information about sociodemographic and behavioral risk factors, surgical sterilization and date of last Pap test were obtained from questionnaires. Cervical histology was obtained from pathology records. Univariable analyses identified differences in risk factors between groups. Multivariable logistic regression models were constructed to evaluate Pap adherence and cervical dysplasia.
Sterilized women were 39% more likely to be screening non-adherent (p≤0.05) especially if divorced, separated or widowed (OR=1.62), Hispanic (OR=1.57) and with a higher number of vaginal births (OR=2.00). Education was an effect measure modifier, significantly associated with non-adherence (OR=1.60). The association between sterilization and non-adherence remained significant when adjusted for confounders (AOR=1.47). Sterilization was associated with an 80% increased odds of cervical dysplasia in women over 40.
Sterilized women with certain sociodemographic factors are more likely to be non-adherent with Pap screening and more prone to dysplasia. These findings may assist practitioners in counseling at-risk patients.
PMCID: PMC4032975  PMID: 24918082
Cervical dysplasia screening; Pap test cervical dysplasia; Sterilization; Tubal ligation
6.  Numerical investigation of two-dimensional light scattering patterns of cervical cell nuclei to map dysplastic changes at different epithelial depths 
Biomedical Optics Express  2014;5(2):485-498.
We use an extensive set of quantitative histopathology data to construct realistic three-dimensional models of normal and dysplastic cervical cell nuclei at different epithelial depths. We then employ the finite-difference time-domain method to numerically simulate the light scattering response of these representative models as a function of the polar and azimuthal scattering angles. The results indicate that intensity and shape metrics computed from two-dimensional scattering patterns can be used to distinguish between different diagnostic categories. Our numerical study also suggests that different epithelial layers and angular ranges need to be considered separately to fully exploit the diagnostic potential of two-dimensional light scattering measurements.
PMCID: PMC3920879  PMID: 24575343
(170.0170) Medical optics and biotechnology; (170.1530) Cell analysis; (170.4580) Optical diagnostics for medicine; (170.4730) Optical pathology; (290.0290) Scattering
7.  Epidemiologic differentiation of diagnostic and screening populations for the assessment of cervical dysplasia using optical technologies 
Gender medicine  2012;9(1 0):10.1016/j.genm.2011.10.006.
We report here the logistic modeling of the epidemiologic differences between a diagnostic and screening population recruited for the study of optical technologies for cervical cancer detection.
Epidemiologic data were obtained from a risk factor interview as a component of a multicenter Phase II clinical trial which employed fluorescence and reflectance point spectroscopy to diagnose cervical disease. Participants with a recent or past abnormal Papanicolaou smear were grouped into the diagnostic (high-risk) population, while those with a history of normal Papanicolaou smears and no cervical treatments were grouped into the screening (low-risk) population.
Our model revealed that non-white race, greater than a high school education, and peri- and postmenopausal status were associated with the screening population. Meanwhile, a history of genital infections, current OC use, HPV positivity (by Hybrid Capture II and consensus PCR), and histology at clinic visit were important predictors of being in the diagnostic group.
We were successful in recruiting two distinctive populations, and we anticipate being able to use these results to more correctly classify women at higher risk for cervical lesions in our future studies of optical spectroscopy.
PMCID: PMC3874883  PMID: 22340639
cervical dysplasia; epidemiology; optical technologies; risk factors
8.  Comparing the Performance of Hybrid Capture II and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) for the Identification of Cervical Dysplasia in the Screening and Diagnostic Settings 
Both PCR and Hybrid Capture II (HCII) have been used for identifying cervical dysplasia; however, comparisons on the performance between these two tests show inconsistent results. We evaluated the performance of HCII and PCR MY09/11 in both screening and diagnostic populations in sub-sample of 1,675 non-pregnant women from a cohort in three clinical centers in the United States and Canada.
Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and concordance between the two tests were calculated.
Specificity of HCII in detecting low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (LSIL) was higher in the screening group (88.7%; 95% CI: 86.2%–90.8%) compared to the diagnostic group (46.3%; 95% CI: 42.1%–50.6%); however, specificity of PCR was low in both the screening (32.8%; 95% CI: 29.6%–36.2%) and diagnostic (14.4%; 95% CI: 11.6%–17.6%) groups. There was comparable sensitivity by both tests in both groups to detect high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (HSIL); however, HCII was more specific (89.1%; 95% CI: 86.8%–91.0%; 66.2%; 95% CI: 62.0%–70.1%) than PCR (33.3%; 95% CI: 30.2%–36.5%; 17.9%; 95% CI: 14.8%–21.6%) in the screening and diagnostic groups, respectively. Overall agreement for HPV positivity was approximately 50% between HCII and PCR MY09/11; with more positive results coming from the PCR MY09/11.
In the current study, PCR MY09/11 was more sensitive but less specific than HCII in detecting LSIL, and HCII was more sensitive and specific in detecting HSIL than PCR in both screening and diagnostic groups.
PMCID: PMC3795532  PMID: 24137052
comparison; test accuracy; hybrid capture II (HC II); polymerase chain reaction (PCR); cervical dysplasia
9.  Double Staining Cytologic Samples with Quantitative Feulgen-Thionin and Anti–Ki-67 Immunocytochemistry as a Method of Distinguishing Cells with Abnormal DNA Content from Normal Cycling Cells 
Ploidy analysis of Feulgen-thionin stained cervical cytology specimens has been shown to detect cases of high grade cervical dysplasia. However, ploidy analysis alone cannot always distinguish between cells with abnormal DNA content and normal cycling cells. We sought to use double staining with anti-Ki-67 immunocytochemistry to improve ploidy analysis.
Study Design
Cervical cytology specimens from 49 patients with various diagnoses, mostly dysplasias, from a previous study were used. Samples were double stained with Feulgen-thionin and anti-Ki-67 immunocytochemistry. Ki-67-negative cells were non-cycling, so non-diploid Ki-67-negative cells were likely truly abnormal cells.
The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for the ability to identify high-grade dysplasias was 0.73 for double staining and 0.74 for thionin-only ploidy analysis on cytospin specimens. At 90% specificity, sensitivities for double staining and thionin alone were 45% and 32%, respectively, but the difference was not statistically significant.
Double staining with Feulgen-thionin and anti-Ki-67 immunocytochemistry does not improve the ability of ploidy analysis of cervical cytology specimens to separate high- and low-grade dysplasias, but our insights into the technical aspects of double staining, especially the effects of antigen retrieval, give hope that this technique could be applied to other immunocytochemical stains that would have a greater ability to improve ploidy analysis.
PMCID: PMC3573880  PMID: 23301387
Ploidy; Early cancer detection; Cervical cancer; Quantitative image cytometry; Proliferation; Immunocytochemistry; Heat-mediated antigen retrieval
10.  Optical Technologies and Molecular Imaging for Cervical Neoplasia: A Program Project Update 
Gender Medicine  2011;9(1 Suppl):S7-S24.
There is an urgent global need for effective and affordable approaches to cervical cancer screening and diagnosis. For developing nations, cervical malignancies remain the leading cause of cancer death in women. This reality is difficult to accept given that these deaths are largely preventable; where cervical screening programs are implemented, cervical cancer deaths decrease dramatically. In the developed world, the challenges with respect to cervical disease stem from high costs and over-treatment. We are presently eleven years into a National Cancer Institute-funded Program Project (P01 CA82710) that is evaluating optical technologies for their applicability to the cervical cancer problem. Our mandate is to create new tools for disease detection and diagnosis that are inexpensive, require minimal expertise to use, are more accurate than existing modalities, and will be feasibly implemented in a variety of clinical settings. Herein, we update the status of this work and explain the long-term goals of this project.
PMCID: PMC3289763  PMID: 21944317
11.  Physician attitudes toward dissemination of optical spectroscopy devices for cervical cancer control: An Industrial-Academic collaborative study 
Gender Medicine  2012;9(1 Suppl):S67-S77.e6.
Optical Spectroscopy has been studied for biologic plausisbility, technical efficacy, clinical effectiveness, patient satisfaction and cost-effectiveness. We sought to identify healthcare provider attitudes or practices that might act as barriers or to the dissemination of this new technology.
Through an academic-industrial partnership, we conducted a series of focus groups to examine physician barriers to optical diagnosis. The study was conducted in two stages. First, a pilot group of ten physicians (8 obstetrician gynecologists and two family practitioners) was randomly selected from 8 regions of the US and interviewed individually. They were presented with the results of a large trial (N=980) testing the accuracy of a spectroscopy based device in the detection of cervical neoplasia. They were also shown a prototype of the device and were given a period of time to ask questions and receive answers regarding the device. They were also asked to provide feedback of a questionnaire (provided in Appendix A) which was then revised and presented to three larger focus groups (n=13, 15, 17 for a total n=45). The larger focus groups were conducted during national scientific meetings with 20 obstetrician gynecologists and 25 primary care physicians (family practitioners and internists).
When asked about the dissemination potential of the new cervical screening technology, all study groups tended to rely on established clinical guidelines from their respective professional societies with regard to the screening and diagnosis of cervical cancer. In addition, study participants consistently agreed that real-time spectroscopy would be viewed positively by their patients. Participants were positive about the new technology's potential as an adjunct to colposcopy and agreed that the improved accuracy would result in reduced healthcare costs (due to decreased biopsies and decreased visits). However, while all saw the potential of real-time diagnosis, there were many perceived barriers. These barriers included: changes in scheduling and work-flow, liability, documentation, ease of use, length of training, device cost, and reimbursement by third party payers.
Barriers exist to the dissemination of optical technologies into physician practice. These will need to be addressed before cervical screening and diagnosis programs can take advantage of spectroscopy-based instruments for cancer control.
PMCID: PMC3292768  PMID: 22340642
physician attitude; physician satisfaction; dissemination; cervical intraepithelial neoplasia; fluorescence and reflectance spectroscopy; optical spectroscopy
12.  Classifying tissue samples from measurements on cells with within-class tissue sample heterogeneity 
Biostatistics (Oxford, England)  2011;12(4):695-709.
We consider here the problem of classifying a macro-level object based on measurements of embedded (micro-level) observations within each object, for example, classifying a patient based on measurements on a collection of a random number of their cells. Classification problems with this hierarchical, nested structure have not received the same statistical understanding as the general classification problem. Some heuristic approaches have been developed and a few authors have proposed formal statistical models. We focus on the problem where heterogeneity exists between the macro-level objects within a class. We propose a model-based statistical methodology that models the log-odds of the macro-level object belonging to a class using a latent-class variable model to account for this heterogeneity. The latent classes are estimated by clustering the macro-level object density estimates. We apply this method to the detection of patients with cervical neoplasia based on quantitative cytology measurements on cells in a Papanicolaou smear. Quantitative cytology is much cheaper and potentially can take less time than the current standard of care. The results show that the automated quantitative cytology using the proposed method is roughly equivalent to clinical cytopathology and shows significant improvement over a statistical model that does not account for the heterogeneity of the data.
PMCID: PMC3169670  PMID: 21642388
Automating cervical neoplasia screening; Clustering densities; Cumulative log-odds; Functional data clustering; Macro-level classification; Quantitative cytology
13.  Accuracy of optical spectroscopy for the detection of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia: testing a device as an adjunct to colposcopy 
Testing emerging technologies involves the evaluation of biologic plausibility, technical efficacy, clinical effectiveness, patient satisfaction, and cost-effectiveness. The objective of this study was to select an effective classification algorithm for optical spectroscopy as an adjunct to colposcopy and obtain preliminary estimates of its accuracy for the detection of CIN 2 or worse. We recruited 1000 patients from screening and prevention clinics and 850 patients from colposcopy clinics at two comprehensive cancer centers and a community hospital. Optical spectroscopy was performed and 4864 biopsies were obtained from the sites measured, including abnormal and normal colposcopic areas. The gold standard was the histologic report of biopsies, read 2–3 times by histopathologists blinded to the cytologic, histopathologic, and spectroscopic results. We calculated sensitivities, specificities, receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves, and areas under the ROC curves. We identified a cutpoint for an algorithm based on optical spectroscopy that yielded an estimated sensitivity of 1.00 [95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.92 – 1.00] and an estimated specificity of 0.71 [95% CI = 0.62 – 0.79] in a combined screening and diagnostic population. The positive and negative predictive values were 0.58 and 1.00, respectively. The area under the ROC curve was 0.85 (95% CI 0.81 – 0.89). The per-patient and per-site performance were similar in the diagnostic and poorer in the screening settings. Like colposcopy, the device performs best in a diagnostic population. Alternative statistical approaches demonstrate that the analysis is robust and that spectroscopy works as well as or slightly better than colposcopy for the detection of CIN 2 to cancer.
PMCID: PMC3015005  PMID: 20830707
sensitivity and specificity; diagnosis; early detection of cancer; uterine cervical neoplasms; cervical intraepithelial neoplasia
14.  Human papillomavirus infection in women with and without cervical cancer in Ibadan, Nigeria 
Concerns have been raised that the proportion of cervical cancer preventable by human papillomavirus (HPV) 16/18 vaccines might be lower in sub-Saharan Africa than elsewhere.
In order to study the relative carcinogenicity of HPV types in Nigeria, as well as to estimate the vaccine-preventable proportion of invasive cervical cancer (ICC) in the country, we compared HPV type prevalence among 932 women from the general population of Ibadan, Nigeria, with that among a series of 75 ICC cases diagnosed in the same city. For all samples, a GP5+/6+ PCR based assay was used for the detection of 44 genital HPV types.
In the general population, 245 (26.3%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 23.5% - 29.2%) women were HPV-positive, among whom the prevalence of HPV35 and HPV16 were equally frequent (12.2%, 95% CI 8.4% - 17.0%). In ICC, however, HPV16 predominated strongly (67.6% of 68 HPV-positive cases), with the next most common types being 18 (10.3%, 95% CI 4.2% - 20.1%), 35, 45 and 56 (each 5.9%, 95% CI 1.6% - 14.4%). Comparing among HPV-positive women only, HPV16 and 18 were over-represented in ICC versus the general population (prevalence ratios 5.52, 95% CI 3.7 - 8.3 and 1.4, 95% CI 0.6 - 3.3, respectively). Other high-risk HPV types, as well as low-risk and multiple HPV infections were less common in HPV-positive women with ICC than from the general population.
Our study confirms that in Nigeria, as elsewhere, women infected with HPV16 and 18 are at higher risk of developing ICC than those infected with other high-risk types, and that current HPV16/18 vaccines have enormous potential to reduce cervical cancer in the region.
PMCID: PMC3017010  PMID: 21129194
15.  Maximizing the diversity of participants in a phase II clinical trial of optical technologies to detect cervical neoplasia 
Gynecologic oncology  2007;107(1 Suppl 1):S208-S214.
We compare the racial and ethnic demographics of our participants with the populations where our clinics are located (Texas and British Columbia) and investigate the reasons cited for participation.
We compared the distribution of participants by race/ethnicity to numbers from the 2000 United States Census and the 2001 Census of Canada. Each participant recorded her reasons for enrolling in the trial in her own words. This information was then categorized for analysis. For participants who provided more than one reason for participation, their responses were weighted accordingly to sum 100% for each race. All analyses were performed using SPSS v12.0 (SPSS, Inc, Chicago).
In all, 1,850 women participated in the study. Except for Asians in the Vancouver population and Native Americans in both populations, all minorities were recruited in proportions in excess of their respective proportions in the general population. Distinct differences in the reasons for participating between sites were noted. Houston patients were more likely to cite concern for one's own health as a reason for participating. On the other hand, Vancouver patients were more likely to cite helping others. This trend was found in both the screening and diagnostic populations.
We attribute our success in recruiting minorities to community outreach, our multicultural staff, and efforts to provide uniform care at all sites.
PMCID: PMC2978042  PMID: 17822750
participant recruitment; clinical trials; cervical neoplasia; optical technologies
16.  Epidemiologic Modeling of Cervical Dysplasia with Molecular and Cytopathological Markers 
Gynecologic oncology  2007;107(1 Suppl 1):S163-S169.
Conventional cervical screening is insufficient at identifying patients who are likely to progress from cervical dysplasia to carcinoma. Traditional epidemiologic studies have identified potential factors to aid in the discrimination between those lesions likely to progress from those likely to regress; however, there is still much to be learned. To examine the role of traditional epidemiologic factors in conjunction with molecular markers of human papillomavirus activity, we studied a group of women attending colposcopy clinics in Houston, TX and Vancouver, BC between October 2000 and July 2003.
Quantitative real-time PCR was used to measure mRNA expression of the human papillomavirus E7 gene, and quantitative cytology was used to gather information about the DNA index and chromatin features of the cells from these women. Logistic regression was used to establish predictor variables for histologic grade based on the epidemiologic risk factors and the molecular markers.
The most predictive factors were mRNA level, DNA index, parity, and age. The ROC curve for the individual logits indicated excellent discrimination.
In accordance with other authors, these results suggest that molecular markers of the malignant process should be included in analyses looking to predict the progression potential of cervical lesions.
PMCID: PMC2978043  PMID: 17727928
human papillomavirus; mRNA; RT-PCR; cytometry; uterine cervix
17.  Repeatability of tissue fluorescence measurements for the detection of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 
Biomedical Optics Express  2010;1(2):641-657.
We examined intensity and shape differences in 378 repeated spectroscopic measures of the cervix. We examined causes of variability such as presence of precancer or cancer, pathologic tissue type, menopausal status, hormone or oral contraceptive use, and age; as well as technology related variables like generation of device and provider making exam. Age, device generation, and provider were statistically significantly related to intensity differences. Provider and device generation were related to shape differences. We examined the order of measurements and found a decreased intensity in the second measurement due to hemoglobin absorption. 96% of repeat measurements had classification concordance of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia.
PMCID: PMC3018008  PMID: 21258497
(120.0120) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology; (170.0170) Medical optics and biotechnology; (300.0300) Spectroscopy
18.  A Health Services Research Agenda for Cellular, Molecular and Genomic Technologies in Cancer Care 
Public Health Genomics  2009;12(4):233-244.
In recent decades, extensive resources have been invested to develop cellular, molecular and genomic technologies with clinical applications that span the continuum of cancer care.
In December 2006, the National Cancer Institute sponsored the first workshop to uniquely examine the state of health services research on cancer-related cellular, molecular and genomic technologies and identify challenges and priorities for expanding the evidence base on their effectiveness in routine care.
This article summarizes the workshop outcomes, which included development of a comprehensive research agenda that incorporates health and safety endpoints, utilization patterns, patient and provider preferences, quality of care and access, disparities, economics and decision modeling, trends in cancer outcomes, and health-related quality of life among target populations.
Ultimately, the successful adoption of useful technologies will depend on understanding and influencing the patient, provider, health care system and societal factors that contribute to their uptake and effectiveness in ‘real-world’ settings.
PMCID: PMC2844634  PMID: 19367091
Genomics; Health services research; Emerging technologies; Translational research
19.  The Performance of Human Papillomavirus High-Risk DNA Testing in the Screening and Diagnostic Settings 
To evaluate the performance of the Human Papillomavirus High-Risk DNA test in patients 30 years and older.
Materials and Methods
Screening (N=835) and diagnosis (N=518) groups were defined based on prior Papanicolaou smear results as part of a clinical trial for cervical cancer detection. We compared the Hybrid Capture II® (HCII) test result to the worst histological report. We used cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) 2/3 or worse as the reference of disease. We calculated sensitivities, specificities, positive and negative likelihood ratios (LR+ and LR−), receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves, and areas under the ROC curves for the HCII test. We also considered alternative strategies, including Papanicolaou smear, a combination of Papanicolaou smear and the HCII test, a sequence of Papanicolaou smear followed by the HCII test, and a sequence of the HCII test followed by Papanicolaou smear.
For the screening group, the sensitivity was 0.69 and the specificity was 0.93; the area under the ROC curve was 0.81. The LR+ and LR− were 10.24 and 0.34, respectively. For the diagnosis group, the sensitivity was 0.88 and the specificity was 0.78; the area under the ROC curve was 0.83. The LR+ and LR− were 4.06 and 0.14, respectively. Sequential testing showed little or no improvement over the combination testing.
The HCII test in the screening group had a greater LR+ for the detection of CIN 2/3 or worse. HCII testing may be an additional screening tool for cervical cancer in women 30 years and older.
PMCID: PMC2705895  PMID: 18843032
cervical intraepithelial neoplasia; cervix neoplasms; DNA probes HPV; sensitivity and specificity
20.  Model-based analysis of reflectance and fluorescence spectra for in vivo detection of cervical dysplasia and cancer 
Journal of biomedical optics  2008;13(6):064016.
Development, validation, and implementation of an analytical model to extract biologically and diagnostically relevant parameters from measured cervical tissue reflectance and fluorescence spectra are presented. Monte Carlo simulations of tissue reflectance are used to determine the relative contribution of the signal from the epithelium and stroma. The results indicate that the clinical probe used collects a majority of its reflectance signal from the stroma; therefore, a one-layer analytical model of reflectance is used. Two analytical approaches to calculate reflectance spectra are compared to Monte Carlo simulations, and a diffusion theory-based model is implemented. The model is validated by fitting spectra generated from Monte Carlo simulations and comparing the input and output parameters. Median agreement between extracted optical properties and input parameters is 10.6%. The reflectance model is used together with an analytical model of tissue fluorescence to extract optical properties and fluorophore concentrations from 748 clinical measurements of cervical tissue. A diagnostic algorithm based on these extracted parameters is developed and evaluated using cross-validation. The sensitivity/specificity of this algorithm relative to the gold standard of histopathology per measurement are 85/51%; this is comparable to accuracy reported in other studies of optical technologies for detection of cervical cancer and its precursors.
PMCID: PMC2701358  PMID: 19123662
diffuse reflectance spectroscopy; fluorescence spectroscopy; cancer diagnosis
21.  Up regulation in gene expression of chromatin remodelling factors in cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 
BMC Genomics  2008;9:64.
The highest rates of cervical cancer are found in developing countries. Frontline monitoring has reduced these rates in developed countries and present day screening programs primarily identify precancerous lesions termed cervical intraepithelial neoplasias (CIN). CIN lesions described as mild dysplasia (CIN I) are likely to spontaneously regress while CIN III lesions (severe dysplasia) are likely to progress if untreated. Thoughtful consideration of gene expression changes paralleling the progressive pre invasive neoplastic development will yield insight into the key casual events involved in cervical cancer development.
In this study, we have identified gene expression changes across 16 cervical cases (CIN I, CIN II, CIN III and normal cervical epithelium) using the unbiased long serial analysis of gene expression (L-SAGE) method. The 16 L-SAGE libraries were sequenced to the level of 2,481,387 tags, creating the largest SAGE data collection for cervical tissue worldwide. We have identified 222 genes differentially expressed between normal cervical tissue and CIN III. Many of these genes influence biological functions characteristic of cancer, such as cell death, cell growth/proliferation and cellular movement. Evaluation of these genes through network interactions identified multiple candidates that influence regulation of cellular transcription through chromatin remodelling (SMARCC1, NCOR1, MRFAP1 and MORF4L2). Further, these expression events are focused at the critical junction in disease development of moderate dysplasia (CIN II) indicating a role for chromatin remodelling as part of cervical cancer development.
We have created a valuable publically available resource for the study of gene expression in precancerous cervical lesions. Our results indicate deregulation of the chromatin remodelling complex components and its influencing factors occur in the development of CIN lesions. The increase in SWI/SNF stabilizing molecule SMARCC1 and other novel genes has not been previously illustrated as events in the early stages of dysplasia development and thus not only provides novel candidate markers for screening but a biological function for targeting treatment.
PMCID: PMC2277413  PMID: 18248679
22.  Design and Preliminary Analysis of a Study to Assess Intra-device and Inter-device Variability of Fluorescence Spectroscopy Instruments for Detecting Cervical Neoplasia 
Gynecologic oncology  2005;99(3 Suppl 1):S98-111.
A study was designed to assess variability between different fluorescence spectroscopy devices. Measurements were made with all combinations of three devices, four probes, and thee sets of standards trays. Additionally, we made three measurements on the same day over two days for the same combination of device, probe, and standards tray to assess reproducibility over a day and across days.
Material and Methods
The devices consisted of light sources, fiber optics, and cameras. We measured thirteen standards and present the data from: the frosted cuvette, water, and rhodamine standards. A preliminary analysis was performed with the data that was wavelength calibrated and background subtracted however the system has not been corrected for systematic intensity variations caused by the devices. Two analyses were performed on the rhodamine, water, and frosted cuvette standards data. The first one is based on first clustering the measurements and then looking for association between the 5 factors (device, probe, standards tray, day, measurement number) using chi-squared tests on the cross tabulation of cluster and factor level. This showed that only device and probe were significant. We then did an analysis of variance to assess the percent variance explained by each factor that was significant from the chi-squared analysis.
The data were remarkably similar across the different combinations of factors. The analysis based on the clusters showed that sometimes devices alone, probes alone, but most often combinations of device and probe caused significant differences in measurements. The analysis showed that time of day, location of device, and standards trays do not vary significantly; whereas the devices and probes account for differences in measurement. We expected this type of significance using unprocessed data since the processing corrects for differences in devices. However, this analysis on raw data is useful to explore what combination of device and probe measurements should be targeted for further investigation. This experiment affirms that online quality control is necessary to obtain the best excitation-emission matrices from optical spectroscopy devices.
The fact that the device and probe are the primary sources of variability indicates that proper correction for the transfer function of the individual devices should make the measurements essentially equivalent.
PMCID: PMC1861808  PMID: 16188298
fluorescence spectroscopy devices; quality assurance; trial design; probe; Fast EEM; standards
23.  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
24.  Absolute quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction for the measurement of human papillomavirus E7 mRNA in cervical cytobrush specimens 
Few reports of the utilization of an accurate, cost-effective means for measuring HPV oncogene transcripts have been published. Several papers have reported the use of relative quantitation or more expensive Taqman methods. Here, we report a method of absolute quantitative real-time PCR utilizing SYBR-green fluorescence for the measurement of HPV E7 expression in cervical cytobrush specimens.
The construction of a standard curve based on the serial dilution of an E7-containing plasmid was the key for being able to accurately compare measurements between cervical samples. The assay was highly reproducible with an overall coefficient of variation of 10.4%.
The use of highly reproducible and accurate SYBR-based real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays instead of performing Taqman-type assays allows low-cost, high-throughput analysis of viral mRNA expression. The development of such assays will help in refining the current screening programs for HPV-related carcinomas.
PMCID: PMC1852093  PMID: 17407544
25.  Depressed Type 1 Cytokine Synthesis by Superantigen-Activated CD4+ T Cells of Women with Human Papillomavirus-Related High-Grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesions 
Carcinoma of the cervix is causally related to infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV), and T cells play a pivotal role in the immune response of the host to rid itself of HPV infection. Therefore, we assessed the T-cell function of women with HPV-related cervical neoplasia against a superantigen, Staphylococcus enterotoxin B (SEB). Each woman provided a cervical brush specimen for HPV DNA testing and Papanicolaou (Pap) smears for the staging of cervical lesions. They also provided a blood specimen for determination of the ability of CD4+ T and CD8+ T cells to synthesize Th1 (interleukin-2 [IL-2], gamma interferon [IFN-γ], and tumor necrosis factor alpha [TNF-α]) and Th2 (IL-10) cytokines in response to activation with SEB. Compared with control subjects with self-attested negative Pap smears, women with high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL) had significantly lower percentages of activated CD4+ T cells that produced IL-2 (P = 0.045), IFN-γ (P = 0.040), and TNF-α (P = 0.015) and a significantly lower percentage of activated CD8+ T cells that produced IL-2 (P < 0.01). These data indicate that women with HPV-related cervical HSIL show a decrease in Th1 cytokine production by activated CD4+ T cells and suggested that compromised T-helper functions may negatively impact the function of cytotoxic CD8+ T cells.
PMCID: PMC371191  PMID: 15013969

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