CERVICAL CANCER AND THE MICROBIOME

Manole COJOCARU,

Principal Scientific Researcher, EuSpLM

Department of Physiology and Immunology, “Titu Maiorescu” University, Faculty of Medicine, Bucharest, Romania

Abstract

Gynecological cancers have been associated with microbiome formation. Cervical cancer (CC) in frequency is the fourth most common cancer in women worldwide. The human microbiota represent the constellation of microorganisms that inhabit our bodies.

The microbiome is able to modulate immune responses, alter the physiology of the hu- man organism and increase the risk of viral infections and development of diseases such as cancer.

The microbiota plays an important role controlling viral infections, such as those caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection or HIV. Microbiomes are also directly linked to cervical cancer (CC). Microbiomes are essential in preventing the invasion of pathogens; therefore, disruption of the dynamics between the microbiome and the va- ginal ecosystem, as a host, is prone to cause infections and acquired lesions that cause copulation disorders and cancer.

Cervical cancer is almost invariably caused by HPV genotypes, 16 and 18, responsible for 65-80% of cervical cancers. HIV-positive women show an increased risk of HPV in- fection and development of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN).

In this review, we summarize the current knowledge concerning changes in the cervi- cal microbiota in the context of HPV infection. Also, the discussion about the probiotics intervention on the microbiota is integrated.

Keywords:

cervical cancer, microbiome, HPV, koilocytes

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