Testing for cervical disease in liquid based cytology samples using a panel of viral RNA biomarkers

University of Glasgow

Past award

Student: Andrew Burns : University of Glasgow

Year Award Started: 2013

Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection of skin cells causes mainly warts. However, fifteen special types of HPV can cause cancer of the cervix and are associated with other cancers, especially head and neck cancer. A vaccine exists against two of these special HPVs and is delivered in a school-based vaccination programme to 12-13 year old girls in the UK. Unfortunately, the vaccine will not protect those older people who have already been infected (up to 80% are infected during their lifetime). A percentage of the female population will therefore continue to experience cervical precancers and cancers. So there is strong motivation to develop new methods of testing for cervical disease. This project aims to test the usefulness of detecting HPV messenger RNAs that are indicative of an active infection capable of causing cancer. This is a sensitive approach that could have future clinical applications in differentiating patients at risk of cervical disease progression to cancer.

Research area: Cancer


Professor Sheila Graham
Institute of Infection, Inflammation and Immunity