Human papillomavirus (HPV) is associated with 65-95% of in situ or early invasive squamous cell carcinomas of the cervix. A multiinstitutional, prospective phase II clinical trial was initiated by the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) to study the activity of IFN-α2b in women with metastatic or locally recurrent cervix cancer. The activity of IFN-α2b was correlated with the presence of HPV as measured by Southern blot hybridization or polymerase chain reaction techniques in 17 patients. All patients had failed prior definitive therapy with surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. IFN-α2b was administered at 10 MU/m2 subcutaneously three times per week. Among 31 patients enrolled, 3 achieved a clinical response to treatment. Tumor was accessible for biopsy in 17 patients. The presence of HPV was assayed by Southern blot hybridization (2 of 17) and/or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology (15 of 17). Of the 17 assays, 16 were informative. HPV was detected in 5 of 16 patients. Of 5 HPV-positive women, 2 responded to treatment, versus 1 of 11 HPV-negative women, thus not permitting reliable statistical analysis. It is concluded that IFN-α2b has only minimal activity against advanced, recurrent cervical cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology