National Cancer Institute
Behavioral Research - Cancer Control and Population Sciences

Key Initiatives

Epidemiology Studies Regarding HPV and Cervical Cancer

Molecular Epidemiology of Cervical Adenocarcinoma

Investigator: Hans-Olov H. Adami

Risk for cervical cancer may depend on human papillomavirus (HPV) subtype, viral load in cervical tissue, and the persistence of infection. The risk of cervical cancer due to HPV infection may be modified by an individual's genetics, specifically, a group of alleles that code for the human leukocyte antigen (HLA). The objectives of this project are to determine: (1) the impact of HPV presence and time since first infection (persistence) on cervical cancer risk; (2) whether a high viral load of HPV types 16, 18, or 45 determines adenocarcinoma risk, and (3) whether certain HLA haplotypes are associated cervical cancer risk and interact with viral load or persistence to affect risk.

Sweden has extensive documentation of a population-based Pap smear cervical cancer screening effort, with potential ascertainment of all cervical cancer cases as well as access to archived smears and tissue specimens. The investigators will use the polymerase chain reaction test to detect HPV DNA in smears from 511 women with cervical cancer and 511 controls. Using a nested case-control design, an average of four smears per person, covering up to 32 years of followup, will be analyzed for HPV persistence, HPV 16/18/45 viral load, and for HLA haplotypes DQ6 and DR15. The relative risk for cervical cancer related to HPV infection, persistence, viral load, and HLA haplotype, as well as interactions between these factors, will be determined.

For more information contact NCI Program Director: Vaurice Starks

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Last Updated: January 5, 2012

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