The long term goals of the proposed research is to determine the factors contributing to the genesis of cervical cancer. The current hypothesis holds that venereally transmitted agents such as papilloma viruses (HPV), aare responsible for cancer development. A preliminary study conducted in Panama compared known risk factors of cervical cancer and the greatest relative risk was associated with the presence of HPV-16 DNA in tumor tissue. In addition, an unusually high cervical cancer rate has been found in Herrera Province Panama. A high cancer rate could be due to 1) high rate of venereal infections, which does not appear to be the case 2) a population with increased susceptibility to oncogenic viruses or 3) the presence of viruses with increased oncogenic potential. The proposed research is to acquire data which will allow us to distinguish between these possibilities. Specifically we hypothesize that an unusually oncogenic variant of HPV is present in Herrera Province. The study will consist of comparing women in Herrera Province with women in two other provinces with lower cancer rates. The prevalence of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) and cervical condyloma will be determined as will the proportions of these lesions associated with different types of HPV. The types of HPV associated with invasive cervical cancer of women living in each of the Provinces will also be determine. If the results of these studies suggest the existence in Herrera Province of an unusually oncogenic HPV, isolate DNA will be cloned from a sample of specimens obtained in different Provinces and tested in vitro for relative oncogenic potential.

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National Cancer Institute (NCI)
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Gorgas Memorial Institute of Trop & Prev Med
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Reeves, W C; Gary Jr, H E; Johnson, P R et al. (1994) Risk factors for genital papillomavirus infection in populations at high and low risk for cervical cancer. J Infect Dis 170:753-8
Herrero, R; Brinton, L A; Hartge, P et al. (1993) Determinants of the geographic variation of invasive cervical cancer in Costa Rica. Bull Pan Am Health Organ 27:15-25
DeBritton, R C; Hildesheim, A; De Lao, S L et al. (1993) Human papillomaviruses and other influences on survival from cervical cancer in Panama. Obstet Gynecol 81:19-24
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Herrero, R; Brinton, L A; Reeves, W C et al. (1990) Risk factors for invasive carcinoma of the uterine cervix in Latin America. Bull Pan Am Health Organ 24:263-83

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