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Chin Med J (Engl). 2012 May;125(9):1599-602.

Gain of human telomerase RNA gene is associated with progression of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade I or II.

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Department of Reproduction and Genetics, Beijing Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100026, China.



The 3q26 chromosome region, where the human telomerase RNA gene (hTERC) is located, is a biomarker for cervical cancer and precancerous lesions. The aim of this study was to confirm the value of measuring hTERC gene gain in predicting the progression of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade I or II (CIN-I and -II, respectively) to CIN-III and cervical cancer.


Liquid-based cytological samples from 54 patients with CIN-I or CIN-II lesions were enrolled in this study. Follow-up was performed with colposcopy and biopsy within 24 months after the diagnosis of CIN-I or CIN-II. Copy numbers of the hTERC gene were measured by fluorescence in situ hybridization with a dual-color probe mix containing the hTERC gene probe (labeled red) and the control, the chromosome 3 centromere-specific probe (labeled green).


All patients whose lesions progressed from CIN-I or CIN-II to CIN-III displayed a gain of the hTERC gene, whereas patients where the hTERC gene was not amplified did not subsequently progress to CIN-III or cervical cancer. The signal ratio pattern per cell was recorded as N:N (green:red). The numbers of cells with the signal ratio pattern of 4:4 or N:≥5 in patients whose lesions progressed to CIN-III were significantly higher than those whose lesions did not progress. Significantly, none of the patients with a 4:4 signal ratio pattern regressed spontaneously.


In conclusion, measurement of hTERC gene gain in CIN-I or CIN-II patients using liquid-based cytological samples could be a useful biomarker to predict the progression of such cervical lesions. In addition, a 4:4 or N:≥5 signal ratio pattern may indicate the unlikeness of spontaneous regression of CIN-I or CIN-II lesions.

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