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Pathol Res Pract. 2018 May;214(5):767-775. doi: 10.1016/j.prp.2018.02.003. Epub 2018 Feb 11.

The clinical value of HPV E6/E7 and STAT3 mRNA detection in cervical cancer screening.

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The First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou 215006, China.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The Fifth Clinical Medical College of Yangzhou University, The Second People's Hospital of Changshu City, Suzhou 215006, China. Electronic address:



To explore the value of human papillomavirus (HPV) E6/E7 and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) mRNA detection in the screening of cervical lesions.


192 patients with abnormal ThinPrep cytology test (TCT) results and/or high-risk HPV infection were screened to identify possible cervical lesions in cases. Diagnoses were confirmed by histopathology. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) was performed to detect and qualify the mRNAs of HPV E6/E7, STAT3, and Survivin in cervical exfoliated cells. In addition, the performance of separate and combined mRNA detection methods were compared with TCT, HR-HPV DNA schemes respectively.


1. Compared with HPVE6/E7 and STAT3 mRNA methods, Survivin mRNA assay had poor specificity (Sp), Youden index (YI) and concordance rate. 2. HPV E6/E7, STAT3, and STAT3 + HR-HPV methods had the best Sp, concordance rate and positive predictive value (PPV) for cervical lesions screening and atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASCUS) triage. For screening of high grade squamous intraepithelial lesions or greater (HSILs+), no difference was observed in the Se of mRNA detection methods in comparison with that of TCT, HR-HPV and TCT + HR-HPV, whereas the false positive rate (FPR) decreased by 41.48%/55.99%/17.19% and the colposcopy referral rate reduced by about 20.00%/25.00%/11.17%. For triage of women with ASCUS, no difference was observed in the Se of mRNA detection methods as compared to that of HR-HPV (χ2 = 1.05, P > 0.75), while the FPR decreased by 45.83%/37.50%/41.66% and the colposcopy referral rate reduced by 32.42%/22.60%/25.28%, respectively. The Se, YI, and PPV of the combined methods increased in comparison to each method alone. 3. Compared with the TCT + HR-HPV method, HPV E6/E7 + STAT3 method had perfect Sp (95.92%) and PPV (95.40%) for screening HSILs+, the FPR and colposcopy referral rate decreased by 31.06% and 22.48% respectively.


1. The expression of HPV E6/E7 and STAT3 mRNA confirmed using FISH assay is expected to be a new method and molecular marker for cervical lesions screening. Survivin mRNA was excluded due to its poor performance. 2. HPV E6/E7, STAT3, and STAT3 +HR-HPV assays could be new approaches for cervical cancer screening and ASCUS triage, and the efficiency of combined screening program was better than that of a separate one. 3. HPV E6/E7 + STAT3 regimen is expected to be a diagnostic strategy for cervical lesions.


Cervical cancer; Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH); Human papillomavirus (HPV) E6/E7; Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3); Survivin

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