Acquired and genetic susceptibility to cervical cancer

Mutat Res. 2003 Nov;544(2-3):361-4. doi: 10.1016/j.mrrev.2003.05.001.


Infection with high-risk human papilloma virus (HPV) is a necessary risk factor for the development of cervical cancer (CC). However, there are many factors that contribute to the development of CC. We have been investigating the role of polymorphisms in chemical metabolizing genes and life-style factors in the development of CC between two countries with significantly different prevalence of CC. Our data confirm that infection with high-risk HPV is the most significant risk factor for CC in both Venezuela and US. In Venezuela, having multiple sex partners and early sexual activities are significant risk factors (OR=4.7, 95% CI=1.7-13.1; OR=6.7, 95% CI=2.3-20.1, respectively). On the other hand, cigarette smoking is the significant risk factor for women in the US (OR=6.4, 95% CI=1.8-23.2). Genotype analyses were conducted using specimens from the US population only. The GSTM1 null genotype was associated with a significant 3.4 fold increase in risk (95% CI=1.0-11.8) compared with those who were GSTM1 positive, after adjustment for smoking and HPV infection. Polymorphosis in CYP2E1 and mEH are associated with a non-significant increase in risk. Our study indicates that different acquired and genetic susceptibility factors can make significant contributions to the development of environmental disease such as cervical cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / epidemiology*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Papillomaviridae
  • Papillomavirus Infections / complications
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / genetics*