Cervical cancer remains a major worldwide health problem, especially in developing countries. Over the last few decades many advancements have been made in determining the molecular genetics of the development of cancer. This paper attempts to summarize the major disturbances in cellular function known to date to play a role in the development of cervical cancer. The role of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in the development of cervical cancer is a major player in the genetic abnormalities described thus far. The effects of HPV E6 and E7 on important cell cycle genes are discussed. As oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes have been described in the different types of cancer, their possible role in cervical cancer has been investigated. The possible role of angiogenesis and angiogenic factors is described. Because of the importance of HPV infection in the development of cervical cancer, the role of the body's immune function in this cancer is also under study, and the results of these findings are summarized. Although a complete paradigm of the development of cervical cancer from normal cervical epithelium is not yet known, continued study in this area will hopefully lead to a defined progression of molecular and immunologic abnormalities that cause the disease. The goal would be to use this information to help prevent and/or treat cervical cancer in the future.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research