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BMC Cancer. 2001;1:2. Epub 2001 Mar 5.

Human papillomavirus DNA in plasma of patients with cervical cancer.

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Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.



Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a crucial etiological factor for cervical cancer (CC) development. From a diagnostic view-point, the consistent presence of HPV in CC allows the viral DNA to be used as a genetic marker. The aims of this study were to evaluate the presence, physical status and clinical significant of HPV DNA in circulation of CC patients.


Whereas 6 out of 50 (12%) HPV positive CC patients revealed plasma HPV DNA, it was detected in none of 20 normal controls or 13 HPV negative CC cases. The plasma DNA exhibited an HPV type identical to the HPV in the primary tumors and the DNA from both sources was integrated into host genome. Interestingly, several findings suggested an association between plasma HPV DNA and metastasis. First, three of the HPV DNA positive cases were CC patients with clinical stage IVB or recurrence with distance metastases (P = 0.001, RR = 15.67). Second, the amount of plasma HPV DNA from metastatic patients to be three times more than three other patients without metastases. Finally, the later cases had tendency to develop recurrence distant metastases within one year after complete treatment when compared with other HPV associated CC patients with the same stage but without the present of plasma HPV DNA.


The plasma HPV DNA originated from the CC, was associated with metastasis and could be used as a marker representing the circulating free CC DNA.

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