Indexed on: 24 Jul '10Published on: 24 Jul '10Published in: Annales de biologie clinique
The histological criteria of uterine cervix lesions are well known. However, there is a poor diagnostic reproducibility especially concerning low-grade precancerous lesions. Therefore, the aim of our study was to evaluate the utility of p16INK4A overexpression as a surrogate biomarker of precancerous lesions of the uterine cervix. A retrospective study was carried out by the International Center for Research on Cancer, Lyon, on 79 uterine cervix lesions. Specimens included 4 normal tissue samples, 24 benign lesions, 9 low-grade precancerous lesions (CIN1), 40 high-grade precancerous lesions (CIN2-3) and 2 squamous cell carcinomas. Immunohistochemistry was used to find p16INK4A expression. HPV infection was detected by HPV testing. No p16INK4A expression was detected in normal tissues and benign lesions of the uterine cervix. p16INK4A immunolabeling was weak in CIN1 cases (77.8%). Strong and diffuse p16INK4A expression was detected among all precancerous lesions (CIN2-3) and squamous cell carcinomas. p16INK4A overexpression was associated to the CIN grade (p<0.0001) and high-risk HPV infection (p<0.0001). In conclusion, p16INK4A overexpression should be regarded as a surrogate biomarker of precancerous lesions of the uterine cervix. p16INK4A overexpression is useful in reducing the variability during evaluation of suspicious biopsies of the uterine cervix.