We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies. Cookie Policy.

Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us

Download Mobile App

Blood Test Could Detect HPV-Associated Cancers 10 Years before Clinical Diagnosis

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 22 Apr 2024
Print article
Image: The new sequencing assay will aid in screening for HPV-associated throat cancer (Photo courtesy of 123RF)
Image: The new sequencing assay will aid in screening for HPV-associated throat cancer (Photo courtesy of 123RF)

Human papilloma virus (HPV) is known to cause various cancers, including those of the genitals, anus, mouth, throat, and cervix. HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancer (HPV+OPSCC) is the most common HPV-associated cancer in the United States but currently lacks an effective screening method. It is thought that HPV+OPSCC may begin to develop 10-15 years before it is clinically diagnosed, indicating a window for early detection. Circulating tumor HPV DNA (ctHPVDNA) has emerged as a highly sensitive and specific biomarker for HPV+OPSCC. Taken together, blood-based screening for HPV+OPSCC could enable detection years before the disease is diagnosed.

Investigators from Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA, USA) and partner institutions have developed HPV-DeepSeek, an HPV whole genome sequencing assay with 99% sensitivity and specificity at clinical diagnosis. For their study, they analyzed 28 plasma samples from patients with HPV+OPSCC, collected between 1.3 and 10.8 years prior to their diagnosis, alongside an equal number of age and gender-matched controls. The HPV-DeepSeek and an HPV serology assay identified 22 out of 28 patient samples (79%) as positive for HPV+OPSCC, achieving 100% detection within four years of diagnosis and a maximum lead time of 7.8 years. Furthermore, a machine learning model successfully classified 27 of the 28 cases (96%), with 100% detection within 10 years.

The team used plasma-based PIK3CA gene mutations, viral genome integration events, and HPV serology to orthogonally validate cancer detection with 68% (19/28) of the cohort with multiple cancer signals being detected. Molecular fingerprinting of the HPV genomes confirmed the uniqueness of each viral genome within the cohort, effectively ruling out the possibility of contamination. In cases where tumor blocks from the diagnosis were available (15/28), molecular fingerprinting performed within patients confirmed the same viral genome across time. This groundbreaking study showcases the potential of ctDNA-based screening to detect HPV-associated cancers up to a decade before clinical diagnosis becomes possible, paving the way for potentially transformative advancements in cancer screening.

Related Links:
Harvard Medical School

Print article


Clinical Chemistry

view channel
Image: The new ADLM guidance will help healthcare professionals navigate respiratory virus testing in a post-COVID world (Photo courtesy of 123RF)

New ADLM Guidance Provides Expert Recommendations on Clinical Testing For Respiratory Viral Infections

Respiratory tract infections, predominantly caused by viral pathogens, are a common reason for healthcare visits. Accurate and swift diagnosis of these infections is essential for optimal patient management.... Read more


view channel
Image: The CAPILLARYS 3 DBS devices have received U.S. FDA 510(k) clearance (Photo courtesy of Sebia)

Next Generation Instrument Screens for Hemoglobin Disorders in Newborns

Hemoglobinopathies, the most widespread inherited conditions globally, affect about 7% of the population as carriers, with 2.7% of newborns being born with these conditions. The spectrum of clinical manifestations... Read more


view channel
Image: For 46 years, Roche and Hitachi have collaborated to deliver innovative diagnostic solutions (Photo courtesy of Roche)

Roche and Hitachi High-Tech Extend 46-Year Partnership for Breakthroughs in Diagnostic Testing

Roche (Basel, Switzerland) and Hitachi High-Tech (Tokyo, Japan) have renewed their collaboration agreement, committing to a further 10 years of partnership. This extension brings together their long-standing... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2024 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.