Virtually all cases of cervical cancer are caused by persistent infections from several of the human papillomaviruses (HPV) — a family of viruses that also cause common skin warts and genital warts. HPV is the most commonly sexually transmitted infection in young adults, yet only a small subset of these infections lead to cervical cancer.
"Some people are better able than others to mount an immune response that suppresses their HPV infection," says Mark H. Einstein, M.D., associate professor of obstetrics & gynecology and women's health at Einstein. "We suspected that this advantage was probably due to variations in genes that play key roles in the body's immune response."
To find out, the researchers recruited 480 women and divided them into two groups: those with high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), a premalignant condition caused by HPV that can lead to cervical cancer; and a control group of women who had tested positive for HPV but had not developed high-grade CIN.
The researchers took cells from the women and looked for genetic differences between the two groups. They focused on a gene called TAP, known to be crucial to the immune system's ability to recognize viruses and eliminate them from the body.
Dr. Einstein and his colleagues found that study participants had key differences at two locations in their TAP genes. Those women who possessed one or the other of these two gene variants were less than half as likely as other women to have developed high-grade CIN. Even women infected with the HPV types most likely to lead to cervical cancer were afforded protection by these variants. The finding suggests that knowledge of these genetic variants, known as polymorphisms, can provide important information regarding protection against cervical cancer.
"We're hopeful that our findings will lead to a genetic test that will help us predict which patients with persistent HPV infection are most likely to develop high-grade CIN and, ultimately, cervical cancer," says Dr. Einstein. "That knowledge should help us in mapping out effective treatment plans that are tailored to the individual patient. This trend of personalized medicine is becoming more common as new technologies offer hope of better tests."
The paper, "Genetic Variants in TAP are Associated with High-Grade Cervical Neoplasia," is published in the February edition of Clinical Cancer Research. Other Einstein researchers include Robert Burk, M.D., Gary Goldberg, M.D., Nicolas Schlecht, Ph.D., Suzanne Leanza, Ph.D., and Lydia G. Chiu, M.P.H. Contributing from Einstein and Long Island Jewish Medical Center, New Hyde Park, NY, was Bettie M. Steinberg, Ph.D.
Dr. Einstein's research was funded by the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation.
Deirdre Branley | EurekAlert!
How brains surrender to sleep
23.06.2017 | IMP - Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pathologie GmbH
A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation
22.06.2017 | Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.06.2017 | Information Technology