Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists uncover clues to ’disappearing’ precancers

01.07.2005


New research sheds light on why cervical precancers disappear in some women and not in others. Scientists at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center report in the July 1 issue of Clinical Cancer Research that the reason many of these lesions persist is an unlikely mix of human papilloma virus (HPV) strain and a woman’s individual immune system.



For decades, scientists have known that HPV causes nearly all cases of cancer in the neck of the womb. Most sexually active women – some reports say up to 80 percent – are exposed to HPV and more than half of these women are infected with strains of the virus that could likely turn a precancerous lesion to cancer. But only a small percentage of precancers progress to full-blown cancer, a process that takes years.

To find out why, gynecologic oncologist Cornelia Trimble, M.D., closely monitored 100 women with high-grade, precancerous cervical lesions before standard surgery to remove the abnormal tissue. Some of the lesions – about 28 percent -- regressed by themselves before surgery within a time period considered within the bounds of care standards. But among patients whose pre-cancers lingered, Trimble discovered that women were three times less likely to resolve their lesions if they carried a certain immune system gene and did not have HPV16, the most common strain of the virus.


Trimble was particularly interested in these molecular differences because she is using HPV-targeted vaccines in related studies to treat early cervical lesions before they turn into cancer. "It’s important for us to know the immunologic fingerprint of women who may best benefit from our vaccine," she says. "Some lesions are on the brink of resolving, but may need the vaccine to push them over."

Lesions containing HPV16 alone are the most troublesome and difficult to resolve. In the subset of 44 patients with HPV16 only, their type of immune system made no impact on whether or not their lesion resolved. But in 30 women with non-HPV16 lesions, those who carry a gene called HLA*A201 were three times less likely to clear up their lesions than those without the gene (14.3 percent vs. 42.3 percent). According to Trimble, 40 percent of people carry the HLA*A201 gene, which codes for certain white blood cell proteins.

None of the lesions got worse during the study period, and all unresolved lesions were surgically removed when the observation period ended. "Since none of the lesions progressed after 15 weeks, we can be reasonably assured that this window of time is safe for vaccine treatments," she said.

Trimble is studying a larger group of patients to confirm her results and rule out other potentially confounding factors such as age, smoking status, and contraceptive method, which may influence how these lesions clear. Trimble recently published results linking second-hand cigarette smoke to cervical cancer progression. She also is looking for additional immune system characteristics that could predict mechanisms of immune responses to HPV. This may provide more information on which women have lesions more likely to regress and potentially avoid surgery, plus provide the opportunity to treat early-stage disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 20 million people in the United States are infected with HPV and up to three-quarters of these have viral strains that are linked to cervical, oral and anal cancers. More than 10,000 cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed in the United States annually.

Vanessa Wasta | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.jhmi.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Study suggests possible new target for treating and preventing Alzheimer's
02.12.2016 | Oregon Health & Science University

nachricht The first analysis of Ewing's sarcoma methyloma opens doors to new treatments
01.12.2016 | IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

IHP presents the fastest silicon-based transistor in the world

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

InLight study: insights into chemical processes using light

05.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

High-precision magnetic field sensing

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>