Long-term risk of recurrent cervical human papillomavirus infection and precancer and cancer following excisional treatment.

Author(s): Kreimer AR,  Schiffman M,  Herrero R,  Hildesheim A,  González P,  Burk RD,  Porras C,  Sherman ME,  Demuth F,  Cheung L,  Bratti C,  Cecilia Rodríguez A

Journal: Int J Cancer

Date: 2012 Jul 1

Major Program(s) or Research Group(s):

PubMed ID: 21823117

PMC ID: PMC3334438

Abstract: Risk of recurrent CIN2+ (including cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2 [CIN2], CIN3, carcinoma and in situ, adenocarcinoma in situ or cancer) remains elevated for years following treatment. The role of long-term post-treatment human papillomavirus (HPV) presence on subsequent risk of CIN2+ was evaluated in the 10,049-women Guanacaste cohort. Six hundred eighty-one women were referred to colposcopy because of high-grade cytology, positive cervicography and/or suspicion of cancer based on visual assessment; 486 were judged to require treatment. After excluding women with <12 months of follow-up (N = 88), prior cancer or hysterectomy (N = 37) or other reasons (N = 14), 347 were included in the analysis. Infections were categorized as persistent if present at both pre- and post-treatment visits and new if detected only post-treatment. Median time between the treatment and post-treatment visits was 6.7 years (interquartile range 3.8-7.8). At the post-treatment visit, 8 (2.4%), 2 (0.6%) and 8 (2.4%) of the 347 treated women had persistent HPV16, HPV18 or other carcinogenic HPV, respectively. Two (0.8%), 3 (1.0%) and 13 (4.0%) had new HPV16, HPV18 and other carcinogenic HPV, respectively. Six CIN2+ cases were identified at the post-treatment visit, all with persistent infections (three HPV16, one HPV18 and two other carcinogenic HPV). No recurrent disease was observed among women with new HPV infections during the follow-up period. Thus, persistence of HPV infection a median of six years after treatment was uncommon but, when present, posed a substantial risk of subsequent CIN2+. Serial follow-up data from other studies would further strengthen these conclusions.