Spontaneous regression of CIN and delayed-type hypersensitivity to HPV-16 oncoprotein E7

Lancet. 2000 Dec 9;356(9246):1985-6. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(00)03315-8.


We investigated delayed-type hypersensitivity to human papillomavirus (HPV) in women with cervical dysplasia or cancer. Women were challenged by skin tests with synthetic HPV-16 E7 oncoprotein peptides. 11 women were regressors (cleared disease without treatment) and 37 were progressors (required surgery). Antibodies to early antigens (markers for progression) were detectable in a higher proportion of cancer patients than all other patients, particularly progressors with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN). By contrast, cellular immunity to HPV-16 E7, measured by skin test, was significantly (p=0.0001) associated with clinical and cytological resolution of HPV-induced CIN, indicating that E7-specific T-helper cells have a role in control of HPV.

Publication types

  • Letter
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity, Delayed / immunology*
  • Hypersensitivity, Delayed / virology
  • Male
  • Oncogene Proteins, Viral / immunology*
  • Papillomaviridae / immunology
  • Papillomavirus E7 Proteins
  • Papillomavirus Infections / immunology
  • Remission, Spontaneous
  • Skin Tests
  • Tumor Virus Infections / immunology
  • Uterine Cervical Dysplasia / immunology*
  • Uterine Cervical Dysplasia / virology


  • Oncogene Proteins, Viral
  • Papillomavirus E7 Proteins
  • oncogene protein E7, Human papillomavirus type 16