Genetic alterations in cervical carcinomas: frequent low-level amplifications of oncogenes are associated with human papillomavirus infection

Int J Cancer. 2002 Oct 10;101(5):427-33. doi: 10.1002/ijc.10627.


The development of cervical carcinoma is closely associated with HPV infection. However, other genetic alterations also play an important role. In this study, we analyzed copy number alterations of several oncogene loci in a panel of 84 cervical tumors. Sixty-five (77%) tumors were HPV DNA-positive, and most were infected with type 16 or type 18 or both. The oncogenes studied include PIK3CA at 3q26.3, TERT at 5p15.33, C-MYC at 8q24, CCND1 at 11q13.3, ERBB2 at 17q21.2 and locus region 20q13.2. Amplification of 1 or more genes was detected in 55 (65%) cases using interphase FISH. PIK3CA was amplified in 43% of tumors, followed by TERT (33%), 20q13.2 (30%), ERBB2 (29%), C-MYC (25%) and CCND1 (12%). Most tumors showed low-level amplification with 3-7 copies of these genes, and complex changes involving 3 or more genes occur more frequently in tumors at advanced stages. Increased protein expression of c-erbB2 and c-myc was observed in tumors with the corresponding gene amplification. Oncogene alterations were found more often in HPV-infected cases, particularly for C-MYC and TERT. These findings indicate that HPV-associated cervical carcinomas bear frequent alterations of these genes, which may have critical biologic impact on the development and progression of carcinoma of the uterine cervix.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Viral / analysis
  • Female
  • Gene Amplification*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Oncogenes*
  • Papillomaviridae*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / genetics*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / pathology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Tumor Virus Infections / genetics*
  • Tumor Virus Infections / pathology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / pathology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / virology*


  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Viral