National Cancer Institute
Behavioral Research - Cancer Control and Population Sciences

Key Initiatives

Epidemiology Studies Regarding HPV and Cervical Cancer

Genetic Susceptibility to Cervical Cancer

Investigator: Janet Rader

Most cases of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection do not progress to cervical cancer. Epidemiologic studies suggest that the variation in progression can be attributed to inherited genetic factors. However, because the genes responsible for this process have not been determined, it is not yet possible to identify which women with HPV infection or preinvasive cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) will need treatment. To identify markers associated with development of cervical cancer, the investigators propose to analyze candidate genes that appear critical for its development, such as those found at the HLA DQB1/DRB1 locus, genes encoding other immune markers, genes that are cellular targets of HPV oncoproteins, and genes that have previously been implicated in cervical cancer progression. They will identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs - variations in the DNA sequence) in the genes and analyze the association of different SNPs with HPV infection and progression to cervical cancer using the transmission/ disequilbrium test. This analysis will help determine whether specific SNPs are more common among women with invasive cervical cancer or CIN 3. If this is the case, these variants will be suspected to predispose HPV-infected women to cervical cancer. Subsequent case control and cohort studies will help confirm the association. The goal of this study is to determine how small variations in women's DNA influence their vulnerability to cervical cancer.

For more information contact NCI Program Director: Vaurice Starks

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Last Updated: January 5, 2012

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