1887

Abstract

Human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV-16) L1- and E7-specific T cell responses were measured in 58 women with abnormal cervical cytology in a prospective study. On recruitment, patients responded most frequently and with the highest numbers of responding cells to the L1 region aa 311–345 and this response was significantly associated with the presence of cervical disease (=0·041). Responses to the L1 peptide aa 281–295 were significantly higher in patients with CIN III than in those with HPV/CIN I or CIN II lesions (=0·027). The E7 region aa 70–98 was the most immunogenic in patients with squamous intraepithelial lesions of the cervix (SIL) but the responses detected were not significantly higher than in patients without SIL. Following treatment, the T cell response profiles of patient groups did not change significantly. However, on analysis of the responses of individual patients with and without recurrent disease on follow-up, significant differences were found. Recurrence of disease was associated with T cell responses to the E7 region aa 70–98 at the patient's first clinic visit (=0·017). Recurrence of disease was also accompanied by an increase in the total number of L1-specific short-term T cell lines (STLs) at follow-up, whereas absence of disease was accompanied by a decrease in L1-specific STLs. The data also suggested a possible link between E7 70–98-specific responses and acquisition of disease by patients who were previously disease-free. Further studies are warranted to determine whether this response could be useful as a marker of recurrent disease in some patients.

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2003-05-01
2020-01-19
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