Circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) is a promising tool for liquid biopsy-based tests. cfDNA has been reported to help in the diagnosis, quantification of minimal residual disease, prognosis, and identification of mutations conferring resistance in various types of cancers. Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer among women worldwide. High-risk human papillomavirus (hr-HPV) infections have been associated with almost all cervical cancers. Lack of HPV vaccines in national vaccination programs and irregular screening strategies in nations with low or moderate levels of human development index have led to cervical cancer becoming the second leading cause of cancer mortality in women. As HPV integration and overexpression of E6/E7 oncoprotein are crucial steps in the development of cancer, HPV cfDNA could potentially be used as a specific biomarker for the detection of cervical cancer. Many studies have used HPV cfDNA and other gene mutations or mRNA expression profiles for diagnosis and disease surveillance in patients with cervical cancer at various stages of disease progression. In this review we present an overview of different studies discussing the utility of cfDNA in cervical cancer and summarize the evidence supporting its potential use in diagnosis and treatment monitoring.
- Uterine Cervical Neoplasms
- Radiation Oncology
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Contributors The first draft of the manuscript was written by PP, GB and RRD. MR provided useful feedback and helped in editing the manuscript. RRD and SL critically reviewed and edited the manuscript. All authors read, revised, and approved the final manuscript.
Funding This work was supported by Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, Ramalingaswami Fellowship BT/RLF/Re-entry/21/2018 (to RRD).
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.