Study: HPV Strains May Impact Cervical Cancer Prognosis


Study shows significant genomic differences between tumors caused by different strains of human papillomavirus.

A new analysis of cervical cancers in Ugandan women has uncovered significant genomic differences between tumors caused by different strains of human papillomavirus (HPV), which suggests HPV type may affect cervical cancer characteristics and prognosis.

The study, published in Nature Genetics, compared cervical cancer samples infected by different evolutionary related groups of HPV types, also known as clades. The study authors identified previously unknown differences in how HPV clades affect the human genome.

The most common causes of cervical cancer detected in approximately 70% of cases are HPV-16 and HPV-18, belonging to clades A9 and A7. Although both are considered high-risk, HPV-18 was associated with more clinically aggressive cancers, according to the study.

“We are very grateful to have had the opportunity to engage in a wonderful collaboration, involving teams of researchers from different countries and continents, to use genome science to analyze these very precious samples from Ugandan patients,” said researcher Marco Marra, MD, in a press release. “This opportunity speaks to the foresight of those who collaborated with the Uganda Cancer Institute in Kampala to perform sample collection, and the study funders that made it possible. We are especially grateful to the support of the patients, without whom this work could not have happened.”

Cervical cancer is the most common cancer worldwide and the most common form of cancer-related mortality in sub-Saharan African women, with researchers predicting a 50% increase in cervical cancer mortality by 2040.


HPV strains may impact cervical cancer prognosis. The University of British Columbia. Published August 10, 2020. Accessed August 12, 2020.

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