Oral contraceptive and progestin-only use correlates to tissue tumor marker expression in women with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia

Contraception. 2012 Mar;85(3):288-93. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2011.09.001. Epub 2011 Oct 11.


Background: The study was conducted to investigate correlations between combined oral contraceptive (COC), any progestin-only contraceptive, medicated intrauterine device (MID) or systemic progestin-only (Syst-P) use and tumor marker expression in cervical intraepithelial neoplasia compared to nonusers.

Study design: One-hundred ninety-five women of fertile age with cervical biopsies ranging histologically from normal epithelium to carcinoma in situ were recruited consecutively. Combined oral contraceptive, Syst-P and MID users were investigated according to the expression of 11 tumor markers.

Results: Overexpression of cyclooxygenase-2 (Cox-2) was observed in COC users, while interleukin 10 was underexpressed. When users of progestogen-only contraceptives were analyzed, there was a lower expression of cytokeratin 10 and interleukin 10. When only MID users were analyzed, a high expression of p53 was found. Expression of Cox-2, p53 and retinoblastoma protein differed between COC and MID users.

Conclusion: The study showed molecular alterations, which, in general, have not been studied previously in COC users and have never been studied in progestogen-only users. These biological events might be involved in epidemiological correlations found between hormonal contraceptive use and cervical neoplasms.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Contraceptives, Oral, Combined*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Progestins*
  • Uterine Cervical Dysplasia / metabolism*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / metabolism*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Contraceptives, Oral, Combined
  • Progestins