Human papillomavirus (HPV) infections play an important role in the development of cervical neoplasia. To get to a better understanding of the role of cytokines in the development of these neoplasias, we analysed the presence of various cytokines in cervicovaginal washings of healthy volunteers (n=22), cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) patients (n=63) and cervical cancer patients (n=33). IL-12p40, IL-10, TGF-beta1, TNF-alpha and IL-1beta levels were significantly higher in patients with cervical cancer than in controls and CIN patients. The levels of IFN-gamma were not different. Our data demonstrate alterations in the local cervical immune environment in cervical cancer patients. This could have important consequences for the further development of immune modulating therapies and vaccination strategies.
Copyright 2001 Academic Press.