Risk assessment in cervical dysplasia patients by single cell gel electrophoresis assay: a study of DNA damage and repair

Mutat Res. 1998 Jan 30;412(2):195-205. doi: 10.1016/s1383-5718(97)00164-2.


Precancerous lesions of cervix, commonly known as dysplasia, present a complex problem because of their biological behavior. Increased genetic instability, either inherent or induced by some external mutagen, is considered as a primary event or a predisposing factor to neoplastic transformation. The relationship between genetic instability and susceptibility towards cervical cancer was evaluated with the comet or single cell gel electrophoresis (SCGE) assay. Among precancerous individuals, genomic instability was observed in cervical epithelial cells and peripheral blood leukocytes. The mean basal DNA damage and mean susceptibility to DNA damage by the mutagen (MNNG) treatment increased whereas repair capacity decreased with progression of the disease in a stepwise manner. Inter and intra individual variability was maximum in cancerous group. Risk was estimated by giving a predictive value for each precancerous individual. In combination with morphological, biochemical, and cytogenetic parameters, the SCGE assay may serve as a novel tool to predict the fate of cervical dysplasia.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • DNA Damage*
  • Epithelial Cells / drug effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes / drug effects
  • Methylnitronitrosoguanidine
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutagenicity Tests*
  • Mutagens
  • Precancerous Conditions / blood
  • Precancerous Conditions / genetics*
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Assessment
  • Uterine Cervical Dysplasia / blood
  • Uterine Cervical Dysplasia / genetics*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / genetics*


  • Mutagens
  • Methylnitronitrosoguanidine