Cervical cancers are considered to originate from a series of pre-malignant lesions (cervical intra-epithelial neoplasia, CIN). The mechanisms behind these events are unknown. In addition to HPV infection, deletions of chromosome 3p have been found to be a frequent event in cervical cancer and likely play an important role in the transition of CIN to invasive cancer. To classify the potential role of 3p deletions in early-stage cervical carcinogenesis, we analyzed LOH of 3p in cervical precancers. Thirty cases with single or multiple CIN lesions were selected for the study, including 20 cases without and 10 cases with synchronous invasive cancers. Allelic losses on 1 or more 3p loci were recorded in 33% (3/9) of CIN II and 36% (5/14) of CIN III lesions from 20 cases without co-existing invasive cancer, whereas an increasing percentage of LOH was observed in the 10 precancerous lesions synchronous with invasive cancer, with 71% (5/7) CIN II and 76% (13/17) CIN III lesions. This result implies that 3p deletions have selective roles in early transition of pre-malignancy to invasive cancer. Comparing the LOH patterns between the 2 groups, genetic deletions in cases with invasive cancers involved extensive regions of 3p but were more localized in precancer cases without concomitant invasive cancer. Two interstitial regions, 3p22-21.3 around marker D3S1260 and 3p21.1 around markers D3S1289 and D3S1076, were most frequently deleted in both groups, suggesting that these 2 regions are novel tumor-suppressor loci which may play a role in early transition of cervical precancer to invasive cancer. Identical LOH patterns between multiple CIN lesions and synchronous invasive cancer in the same case suggests that different cervical precancers and invasive cancer are genetically linked and most likely originate from a single precursor cell.
Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.