The Diagnostic Value of Circulating Cell-Free HPV DNA in Plasma from Cervical Cancer Patients

Sara Bønløkke, Magnus Stougaard, Boe Sandahl Sorensen, Berit Bargum Booth, Estrid Høgdall, Gitte-Bettina Nyvang, Jacob Christian Lindegaard, Jan Blaakær, Jesper Bertelsen, Katrine Fuglsang, Mikael Lenz Strube, Suzan Lenz, Torben Steiniche


Circulating cell-free HPV DNA (ccfHPV DNA) may serve as a marker for cervical cancer. In this study, we used digital droplet PCR (ddPCR) to detect and quantify ccfHPV DNA in plasma from patients with HPV16- or HPV18-associated cervical cancer. Blood samples from 60 patients diagnosed with cervical cancer (FIGO IA1-IVA) at Aarhus or Odense University Hospital (June 2018 to March 2020) were collected prior to treatment, and patients were subdivided into an early stage (n = 30) and a late-stage subgroup (n = 30) according to disease stage. Furthermore, blood samples from eight women with HPV16- or 18-associated premalignant conditions (CIN3), and 15 healthy controls were collected. ddPCR was used to analyze plasma from all participants. ccfHPV DNA was detected in 19 late-stage patients (63.33%), 3 early stage patients (10.00%), and none of the CIN3 patients or controls. Quantitative evaluation showed significant correlations between ccfHPV DNA level and stage, tumor score, and tumor size. Thus, our results indicate that ccfHPV DNA may not be a useful marker for early detection of cervical cancer. However, for patients with advanced stage cervical cancer, ccfHPV DNA level represents a promising tool to establish tumor burden, making it useful for establishing treatment response and monitoring the disease.
Udgave nummer14
StatusUdgivet - 11 jul. 2022


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