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Molecular pathogenesis of cervical cancer.

Cancer Biology & Therapy 2011 Februrary 2
INTRODUCTION: Cervical cancer is a sexually transmitted disease that results from infection with oncogenic types of human papillomavirus (HPV). Oncogenic HPV DNA is found in over 95% of invasive cervical cancers worldwide. Cervical cancer is a leading cause of cancer deaths in developing countries because of high HPV infection rates and lack of comprehensive cervical Pap smear testing of susceptible women. Vaccination against HPV prevents the acquisition of cervical dysplastic lesions among eligible women who have not already acquired the vaccine-specific HPV types.

METHODS: Literature review of the epidemiology, infection cycle, viral gene function and current vaccines related to the oncogenic types of the human papillomavirus (HPV).

CONCLUSION: Enhanced understanding of HPV and population-based measures offer the best hope of limiting worldwide mortality due to cervical cancer. The development of therapeutic cervical cancer vaccines and/or virus-targeted drug therapies would be a giant step forward.

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