Cervical cancer is still the leading cause of gynecological cancer deaths worldwide in spite of the advent of early diagnosis with the Pap smear. Ninety-five percent of cervical cancers are of squamous cell origin. Cervical carcinoma is almost always associated with infection from oncogenic subtypes of human papillomavirus (HPV). However, HPV infection alone is insufficient for malignant transformation; other genetic events independent or in conjunction with HPV infection are required. The early studies of genetics in cervical cancer were often hampered because only a few genes or genetic events could be evaluated at a time. Therefore, the interactions of multiple genes throughout the genome could not be evaluated. Gene-expression profiling utilizing microarrays allows quantitative measurement of the expression of thousands to all human expressed genes simultaneously. Here we describe how to obtain information on global genetic events in cervical cancer using oligonucleotide microarrays in combination with real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). This facilitates understanding of the gene expression differences that underlie cervical neoplastic development and progression and can identify molecular signatures that can potentially be used in cervical cancer diagnosis and prognosis. This technology also represents a leap forward in the goal to eventually provide tailored therapy to individual patients and offers a genetic blueprint for gauging the potential effectiveness of all common cervical cancer treatments.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology