Molecular Diagnosis of Cervical Cancer

  • Balraj MittalEmail author
  • Saurabh Yadav


Cervical carcinoma is the fourth most common female cancer worldwide. The prognosis for women with advanced-stage or recurrent cervical cancer remains poor. The cervical cancer development is a slow process which takes place over several years. In recent years, there is considerable decrease in cervical cancer-related deaths, particularly in developed countries. This reduction in cancer mortality is the results of early detection of cervical cancer lesions due to intense screening programs. These programs involve detection of the early precancerous changes which may progress to cancer if left untreated. Human papillomavirus (HPV) has been identified as a necessary factor in the development of pre-invasive and invasive cancer of the cervix. Presently, there are two major modalities of cervical cancer screening, cytology and (HPV) test. In cytology, cells are scraped from the squamo-columnar junction of the cervix and fixed on a glass slide for reading by a trained cytologist. HPV testing involves qualitative/quantitative detection of HPV DNA or RNA by molecular methods. Although there are many subtypes of HPV but HPV 16 and 18 are most prevalent risk factors for cervical cancer. Although, cytological investigations have been the major screening modality in cervical cancer but the test has subtle limitations and requires adequate resources and trained manpower. In low resource settings, HPV testing alone or in conjunction with cytology may be an effective large-scale method of cervical cancer screening. HPV can be tested by various laboratory developed protocols but commercial assays are usually employed in large scale screening programs. Currently, non-invasive blood based tests, termed liquid biopsies, is under evaluation for screening, diagnosis and prognosis of cervical cancer patients.


Cervical neoplasm Molecular diagnosis Cancer prevention Cancer screening Molecular testing Pap test HPV testing 



B.M. is Emeritus Medical Scientist of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), New Delhi, and S.Y. is a senior research fellow, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiotechnologyBabasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar UniversityLucknowIndia
  2. 2.Department of Surgical GastroenterologySanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical SciencesLucknowIndia

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