National Cancer Institute
Behavioral Research - Cancer Control and Population Sciences

Key Initiatives

Epidemiology Studies Regarding HPV and Cervical Cancer

Persistent HPV in Women at Risk for Cervix Cancer

Investigator: Robert D. Burk

This study will explore human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in a large, representative sample of high-risk women in Costa Rica who have been enrolled and followed for approximately 7 years with regard to developing cervical cancer. This unique cohort is derived from an admixed population and provides a natural genetic heterogeneity of viral genomes.

The researchers plan to examine the role of viral heterogeneity and natural selection on phenotypic outcomes, such as oncogenicity, by proposing a comprehensive analysis of the viral genomes in a representative set of samples. They plan to determine and analyze the complete set of viral genotypes associated with high-grade disease, along with a set of comparison genomes. The aims of this study are to: (1) describe the natural history of HPV infection by type and variant in different age groups, including defining the prevalence, incidence, duration, and risk factors for persistent infection and progression to cervical cancer; (2) examine the elevated prevalence of HPV in postmenopausal women; and (3) explore the genetic basis for the cancer-causing potential of high-risk HPV types and variants.

For more information contact NCI Program Director: Vaurice Starks

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Last Updated: January 5, 2012

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