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Gynecol Oncol. 1998 Apr;69(1):47-55.

HPV-16-related proteins as the serologic markers in cervical neoplasia.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Catholic University Medical College, Catholic Cancer Center, Seoul, Korea.



Recently, a variety of HPV-related proteins have been synthesized and their utility as diagnostic and prognostic markers in cervical cancers needs to be assessed. The ability to generate preparative amounts of HPV-16 L1/L2 VLPs and E6, E7 proteins may have implications for the development of a serologic assay to detect anti-HPV-16 virion immune responses. The purpose of the study is to improve the way of proper management of the cervical cancer by investigating the utility of the recently developed HPV-16 L1/L2 VLPs, HPV-16 E6, E7 proteins as the clinical serologic markers through antibody reactions by comparison with those of SCCA and CEA which have been used as tumor markers for cervical cancer.


The serologic responses in Korean women with cervical neoplasia by ELISA using HPV-16 L1/L2 VLPs and radioimmunoprecipitation assay (RIPA) using in vitro translated HPV-16 E6, E7 proteins were investigated. PCR using E6 type-specific primers for HPV-16/18 was used to determine the presence and type of HPV infection (normal controls, 15 cases; preinvasive lesions, 28 cases; invasive cervical cancers, 124 cases).


The sera of 34% (42/124) of cervical cancers were positive for SCCA and the sera of 18% (22/124) of cervical cancers were positive for CEA. The positivity of SCCA was increased with advancing clinical stages, but the antibody levels were not correlated with clinical stage of disease. The sera of 7% (1/15) of normal controls, 39% (11/28) of preinvasive lesions, and 56% (70/124) of patients with cervical cancer were ELISA positive for HPV-16 L1/L2 VLPs (P < 0.05). The sera of 7% (2/28) of preinvasive lesions and 51% (63/124) of cervical cancers were positive for in vitro translated HPV-16 E6 protein (P < 0.05) and the sera of 11% (3/28) of preinvasive lesions and 33% (41/124) of cervical cancers were positive for in vitro translated HPV-16 E7 protein (P < 0.05). The antibody levels to HPV-16 E7 protein were correlated to clinical stage and tumor burden in a significant number of cervical cancers.


These data suggest that a considerable number of patients with cervical neoplasia generated positive antibody response to L1/L2 VLPs and in vitro translated E6, E7 proteins of HPV-16. These HPV-16-associated proteins might be disease-specific markers which could be useful in an adjunctive diagnostic assay and a seroepidemiologic study of HPV-related cervical neoplasia. In particular, the monitoring of antibody to HPV-16 E7 protein seems to be valuable in the proper management of cervical cancers for specific tumor markers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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