National Cancer Institute
Behavioral Research - Cancer Control and Population Sciences

Key Initiatives

Epidemiology Studies Regarding HPV and Cervical Cancer

HIV-Associated DNA Hypermethylation in Cervical Cancer

Investigator: Nancy B. Kiviat

The purpose of this study is to understand the molecular changes linked to HIV-associated invasive cervical cancer (ICC) and its precursor, cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 3 (CIN 3). A key goal of the study is to create low-cost assays that identify molecular changes marking the development of ICC and CIN-3. Cost effective assays for detection of cervical cancer are needed in developing areas, where HIV is endemic and resources are limited. Current tests are costly and insensitive, which results in over-treatment.

Investigators will test the hypothesis that the increased risk of cervical cancer associated with HIV infection is the result of both persistent human papillomavirus (HPV) infection related to weakened immune function, and the HIV-induced silencing of numerous genes (DNA hypermethylation) that are linked to cervical cancer. To test this hypothesis, the investigators seek to (1) identify hypermethylated genes that predict CIN 3 in both HIV- and HIV+ women; (2) conduct a nested case-control study to examine relationships between incident CIN-3, DNA hypermethylation, HIV infection, and persistent detection of HPV; and (3) assess correlates of DNA hypermethylation of genes associated with development of CIN-3.

For more information contact NCI Program Director: Vaurice Starks

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Last Updated: January 5, 2012

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