Human papillomavirus is considered to be a major aetiological factor but is not sufficient for the development of cervical cancer. Other host factors, including altered homocysteine levels, a functional marker of folate inadequacy, might contribute to the carcinogenic process. Herein we investigated the potential association of homocysteine levels and MTHFR polymorphisms with cervical cancer in 203 histologically confirmed cases including 39 precancer cases and 231 healthy controls with normal cervical cytology. Both patients and controls were screened for human papillomavirus infection. We found that homocysteine and consequently cysteine levels were significantly higher in cases, both cancer and precancer (p<0.001) than controls. However, polymorphisms in the MTHFR gene (677C/T and 1298A/C) that are reported to modulate homocysteine levels were not associated with disease. Thus, our study establishes an association of total homocysteine levels with the risk of developing carcinoma of the uterine cervix.
- Cervical cancer
- Human papilloma virus
- Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase