Problem: To ascertain if cervical epithelial epidermal growth factor receptor (EGF-R) and serum insulin-like growth factor II (IGF-II) levels are potential markers for cervical cancer.
Method of study: We tested cervical biopsies obtained from 18 controls, 3 women with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) I, 17 women with CIN II and III, and 12 women with cervical cancer for EGF-R using a quantitative immunofluorescent antibody assay. We measured serum IGF-II levels using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in 20 controls, 26 CIN patients, 12 with cervical cancer before therapy, 5 with cervical cancer for < 1 year, and 9 others > 1 year after therapy.
Results: The levels of cervical EGF-R in women with CIN and cervical cancer were significantly higher (P<0.05 for CIN I; P<0.001 for patients with CIN II and III or cervical cancer) than in controls. Women with cervical cancer (P<0.001 vs. controls) or advanced CIN (P = 0.03) had elevated levels of serum IGF-II, while the women with CIN I had levels similar to controls. Women with cervical cancer in the post-therapy period had significantly lower serum IGF-II levels than the women with cervical cancer before therapy (P<0.001).
Conclusion: Cervical epithelial EGF-R and serum IGF-II levels may be used for the diagnosis and prognosis of cervical cancer.