Infection with high risk human papillomavirus (hrHPV) plays a central aetiological role in cervical cancer. Still, cervical carcinogenesis is a multistep process which requires other events in addition to hrHPV infection. Recent data have resulted in the following concept of cervical carcinogenesis: hrHPV infects normal squamous epithelium. In most cases this will not lead to a lesion or at worst give rise to a regressing low grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN). Both phenomena involve viral clearance. Only persistent hrHPV infections will lead to a high grade CIN lesion, a subset of which may undergo malignant transformation. At the transition of CIN 2 to CIN 3 deregulated expression of the viral oncogenes E6 and E7 takes place, resulting in genetic instability. Subsequently, activation of the telomere-lengthening enzyme, telomerase occurs, as the result of which cells obtain an infinite replication capacity. Ultimately, successive allele losses occur at different chromosomal locations which, followed by a clonal outgrowth result in an invasive carcinoma.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde|
|Publication status||Published - 26 Aug 2000|