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The Biopsy Study – A Study to Distinguish HPV Infection from Precancer

A collaborative study on colposcopic biopsy is conducted at the University of Oklahoma, as part of an already established project on cervical cancer risk-marker discovery. The aims of the study are to study cervical disease on the lesion level, to optimize criteria for biopsy placement, and to analyze the incremental benefit of taking multiple biopsies. The study is conducted in close collaboration with the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology represented by a colposcopy and pathology expert group. 

Following a standardized protocol for biopsy placement based on decreasing order of lesion severity as judged by colposcopic impression, up to four biopsies, including one randomly taken, will be performed on 1,000 women referred to colposcopy. Endocervical curettage will be restricted to women 30 and older. Colposcopic impression, acetowhitening, and biopsy placement will be documented using a digital imaging system. All biopsies taken from a woman will be analyzed separately using conventional histology, HPV typing, and biomarkers. 

Investigators in DCEG will study the topographic distribution and functional relation of multiple lesions on the cervix using HPV genotyping and biomarkers for viral transformation. The incremental benefit of taking additional targeted and random biopsies will be calculated. Investigators will study the predictive value of candidate biomarkers against an improved gold standard. The results of the study will impact colposcopy and cervical cancer screening procedures in general. Making colposcopy more effective is important in a time of extensive screening (smaller lesions are detected) and vaccination against HPV (leading to an overall reduction of high grade lesions).

For more information, contact Nicolas Wentzensen.

Hormonal and Reproductive Epidemiology Branch - Research Areas