DEVELOPMENT OF A NOVEL PCR-BASED ASSAY FOR HIGH-RISK HUMAN PAPILLOMAVIRUS DETECTION AND GENOTYPING IN SELF COLLECTED CERVICOVAGINAL SAMPLES: A NEW POSSIBILITY FOR THE CERVICAL CANCER SCREENINGAlice Avian
, 2020, doctoral dissertation
Abstract: Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection is the causative agent for the invasive cervical cancer and its precancerous lesions, furthermore, there are growing evidences of HPV being a relevant factor in other anogenital cancers as well as head and neck cancers. Most sexually active women become infected with HPV at least once in their lifetime, but less than 10% of women becomes persistently infected, and it is precisely the persistent infection that contributes to the development of cervical cancer.
The preventive effect of cervical cancer screening largely depends in the high women participation and coverage; indeed, a large number of cervical cancers diagnoses normally arise among under-screened and unscreened women. Increase in the screening coverage is essential to improve the effectiveness of cervical screening programmes.
The main purpose of this PhD project was to solve some of the most relevant problems in the cervical cancer screening programmes, as the increase of cost-effectiveness and the amelioration of the screening coverage.
My work was focused on the development and validation of the first Ulisse BioMed S.p.A. product, the HPV Selfy™ test, an innovative PCR-based kit for the direct detection and genotyping of 12 high-risk HPV types (16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58 and 59) and 2 possible/probable high-risk (66 and 68), specifically optimized for the analysis of self-collected vaginal specimens.
The core of this innovative test is based on high-resolution melting (HRM) analysis, a recently developed technique for fast, high-throughput post-PCR analysis of variance in nucleic acid sequences, that characterizes the amplicons by studying thermal denaturation of double-stranded DNA. Based on this approach and through the design of different HPV type-specific primer pairs and the development of a specific master mix, unique melting peaks in a single fluorescence channel were obtained, allowing the multiple detection and genotyping of 14 HPV types in a single PCR well.
Three different clinical studies have been carried out to validate the assay on the vaginal self-collected samples with truly amazing results regarding the assay’s performance, but also for self-sampling acceptability by women. Moreover, data collected in these studies suggest a future possible use of this test for the hard-to-reach women, as an alternative of the conventional clinician-collected sample, in order to increase the cervical cancer screening coverage.
Keywords: Human Papillomavirus, HPV test, cervical cancer screening, prevention, diagnostic test, High resolution melting, HRM, genotyping, PCR, Self-sampling, clinical validation.
Published in RUNG: 17.06.2020; Views: 2839; Downloads: 98
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