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Volume 2012, Article ID 548150, 8 pages
Review Article

Regulation of Inflammatory Pathways in Cancer and Infectious Disease of the Cervix

MRC/UCT Research Group for Receptor Biology, Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine and Division of Medical Biochemistry, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Observatory, Cape Town, 7925, South Africa

Received 12 April 2012; Accepted 21 May 2012

Academic Editors: H. Akari, R. I. Aqeilan, R. A. Blaheta, and Y. Oji

Copyright © 2012 Anthonio Adefuye and Kurt Sales. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cervical cancer is one of the leading gynaecological malignancies worldwide. It is an infectious disease of the cervix, associated with human papillomavirus infection (HPV), infection with bacterial agents such as Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoea as well as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Furthermore, it is an AIDS-defining disease with an accelerated mortality in HIV-infected women with cervical cancer. With the introduction of robust vaccination strategies against HPV in the developed world, it is anticipated that the incidence of cervical cancer will decrease in the coming years. However, vaccination has limited benefit for women already infected with high-risk HPV, and alternative therapeutic intervention strategies are needed for these women. Many pathological disorders, including cervical cancer, are characterised by the exacerbated activation and maintenance of inflammatory pathways which are considered to be regulated by infectious agents. In cervical cancer, hyperactivation of these inflammatory pathways and regulation of immune infiltrate into tissues can potentially play a role not only in tumorigenesis but also in HIV infection. In this paper we will discuss the contribution of inflammatory pathways to cervical cancer progression and HIV infection and the role of HIV in cervical cancer progression.