The Role of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) in Cervical Cancer: A Review about HPV-Induced Carcinogenesis and Its Epidemiology, Diagnosis, Management and Prevention

  • Karl Bonello Faculty of Medicine & Surgery, University of Malta, Msida, Malta.
  • Renald Blundell Faculty of Medicine & Surgery, University of Malta, Msida, Malta.
Keywords: Human papillomavirus 16, Uterine Cervical Neoplasms, Biomarkers;, Papillomavirus Vaccines


The human papillomavirus (HPV) was the first virus known to induce carcinogenesis and is associated with cancers of the uterine cervix, anogenital tumors and malignancies of the head and neck. This paper reviews the structure and basic genomic characteristics of the virus and outlines the clinical involvement of the main HPV serotypes, focusing on the carcinogenic role of HPV-16 and 18. The mechanisms that occur in the development of cervical neoplasia due to the oncogenic proteins E6 and E7 which interfere with the regulation of the cell cycle through their interaction with p53 and retinoblastoma protein are described. Epidemiological factors, diagnostic tools and the management of the disease are also reviewed, along with the available vaccines to prevent the viral infection. Insights on current research on involvement of oxidative stress and micro-RNAs in cervical carcinogenesis are also explored as they may unlock new means of diagnosis and treatment in the future.

Author Biography

Karl Bonello, Faculty of Medicine & Surgery, University of Malta, Msida, Malta.

Karl Bonello is currently a fif¬th-year medical student of a five-year program at the University of Malta Medi¬cal School, Msida, Malta. He is also a recipient of a Dean’s Award during his se¬cond year of study and an Academic Award from the University of Malta Student Council in his fourth year. He ranked first place in his year group over the first four years of the program.


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How to Cite
Bonello, K., & Blundell, R. (2016). The Role of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) in Cervical Cancer: A Review about HPV-Induced Carcinogenesis and Its Epidemiology, Diagnosis, Management and Prevention. International Journal of Medical Students, 4(1), 26-32. Retrieved from