National Cancer Institute
Behavioral Research - Cancer Control and Population Sciences

Key Initiatives

Epidemiology Studies Regarding HPV and Cervical Cancer

Immunogenetics of Cervical and Vulvar Cancer

Investigator: Stephen Marc Schwartz

Although human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is a significant factor in the development of most cervical and vulvar cancers, large population-based studies have implied an inherited predisposition to these cancers. Cell-mediated immune mechanisms, including human leukocyte antigen (HLA) type 1 and 2 cytokines, determine an individual's response to HPV infection. Investigators propose to analyze associations of HLA class I and II alleles with the risk of cervical and vulvar cancers. Microsatellite markers will be used to determine HLA haplotypes (sets of alleles) and additional HLA genetic markers associated with these cancers.

Single nucleotide polymorphisms (variations in the DNA molecule) and haplotypes for 17 cytokine genes, their receptors, or their receptor antagonists (40 genes in total) also will be analyzed for associations with cervical and vulvar cancers. The genes to be analyzed are known to have or are suspected of having roles in type 1 or 2 immune responses or the development of anogenital cancer. The hypothesis that these anogenital cancers are associated with common genetic variations in the chemokine receptor gene CXCR and its ligand SDF1 also will be tested; mutations in CXCR4 have been linked to inherited impaired immune response to HPV.

For more information contact NCI Program Director: Vaurice Starks


Last Updated: January 5, 2012

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