Every year approximately half a million women develop cervical cancer of whom 80% live in poor countries where population-based screening programs are virtually nonexistent. Although, 95% of the patients with precancerous lesions harbor HPV, only a small fraction of the cases eventually progress to invasive cancer. Therefore, HPV infection alone is considered insufficient for the malignant conversion, suggesting the role of other genetic changes in the development of cervical cancer.
Molecular characterization of chromosomal changes utilizing new genomic technologies should provide important clues of the genetic mechanisms of initiation and progression and new insight into the clinical behavior and management of cervical cancer. Early detection of cervical cancer precursor lesions by screening procedures and their treatment, will remain the most important measures for the control of this disease in the foreseeable future. Thus, a major aim is to identify women who are at risk of developing cancer as it provides opportunities for prevention and treatment of the disease.
With the rapid evolving of molecular technology, in the not-so-distant future, it may be expected to see patients with cervical cancer treated with targeted vaccines or molecular therapies.
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