Introduction/Background Pregnant women diagnosed with CIN3 (cervical intraepithelial neoplasia) have high regression rates after delivery. Biomarkers are needed to only identify pregnant women with progressive CIN requiring treatment to reduce over referral and overtreatment.
Methodology In this study we evaluated the performance of the FAM19A4/miR124–2 methylation test for molecular triage on formalin fixed samples of CIN3+-diagnosed pregnant women with known clinical course over time as well in a cross-sectional setting. In this German multicenter retrospective study biopsy material was collected from pregnant women diagnosed with cervical cancer (n=16), with CIN3 that progressed to cancer during pregnancy (n=7), with CIN3 that regressed to CIN1 or less within 6 months after delivery (n=41), without CIN (n=16), CIN3 covering 3–4 quadrants (n=14) and randomly selected CIN3 (n=41). FAM19A4/miR124–2 methylation analysis was performed blinded on first diagnosis.
Results All pregnant women with cervical cancer and with CIN3 progressing to cancer tested positive for FAM19A4/miR124–2 methylation (100%, 22/22). In the regressing CIN3 group 47.5% and in the group without CIN 21.6% tested methylation positive. High-volume CIN3 and random selected CIN3 were methylation-positive in 91.7% and 82.1%. Methylation levels were significantly higher in progressive CIN3 and cancer compared to the controls (P<0.0005). The likelihood ratio of a negative methylation test (LR-) for progressive CIN3+ was 0 (95%CI:0–0.208).
Conclusion A negative FAM19A4/miR124–2 methylation test can rule out progressive CIN disease in pregnant women diagnosed with CIN3. This can help the clinician by managing these pregnant women with conservative follow-up until after delivery. (Int J Cancer. 2022 Jun 6. doi: 10.1002/ijc.34153)
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