Genetic changes orchestrated by human papillomaviruses are the most important known factors in carcinogenesis of the uterine cervix. However, it is clear that additional genetic events are necessary for tumour progression. We have used comparative genomic hybridization to document non-random chromosomal gains and losses within a subset of 37 cervical carcinomas matched for clinical stage Ib, but with different lymph node status. There were significantly more chromosomal changes in the primary tumours when the lymph nodes were positive for metastases. The most frequent copy number alterations were loss of 3p, 11q, 6q and 10q and gain of 3q. The smallest areas of loss and gain on chromosome 3 were 3p14-22 and 3q24-26. The study identifies progressive DNA copy number changes associated with early-stage invasive cervical cancers with and without lymph node metastases, a factor of potential prognostic and therapeutic value.
Copyright 2000 Cancer Research Campaign.