Disparities in Cervical Cancer Incidence and Mortality: Can Epigenetics Contribute to Eliminating Disparities?
Screening for uterine cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) followed by aggressive treatment has reduced invasive cervical cancer (ICC) incidence and mortality. However, ICC cases and carcinoma in situ (CIS) continue to be diagnosed annually in the United States, with minorities bearing the brunt of this burden. Because ICC peak incidence and mortality are 10-15 years earlier than other solid cancers, the number of potential years of life lost to this cancer is substantial. Screening for early signs of CIN is still the mainstay of many cervical cancer control programs. However, the accuracy of existing screening tests remains suboptimal. Changes in epigenetic patterns that occur as a result of human papillomavirus infection contribute to CIN progression to cancer, and can be harnessed to improve existing screening tests. However, this requires a concerted effort to identify the epigenomic landscape that is reliably altered by HPV infection specific to ICC, distinct from transient changes.
Maguire, RL; Vidal, AC; Murphy, SK; Hoyo, C
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