Functional biomarkers in cervical precancer: An overview

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Cervical cancer develops over a long time through precursor lesions that can be detected by cytological screening. Majority of these lesions regress spontaneously. Therefore, the challenge of cervical cancer screening is to detect the lesions that have a high risk of progression. Several promising biomarkers have been described that may improve screening of cervical cancer, but to date, new biomarkers have not been thoroughly validated in high-quality studies.The knowledge about human papillomavirus as a causative agent of cervical cancer has accumulated over the last decades has opened the possibility to improve the existing prevention strategies and screening practices. p16 has amply been applied on cytologic samples and has been shown to be a promising marker especially in identification of high-grade dysplasia. ProEx C, a replication marker, has also been recently shown to be a good marker for identification of high-grade dysplasia and has been used on cytologic samples. Proliferation markers such as MYC, Ki67, telomerase, MCM, topoisomerase 2A and 3q amplification by in situ hybridization technique are other methods being employed in identification of high-grade dysplasia. However, currently available data on most of the biomarkers does not warrant their routine use yet. This review highlights the major findings of previous studies on cervical cancer biomarkers. Diagn.

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