Cervical cancer is the fourth most common type of tumour in women. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), in 2018 some 570,000 new cases and 311,365 deaths were reported, 90 % of which were in developing countries, where prevention programmes do not exist despite this being the most frequent cancer in these zones. In 95 % of the cases, the cancer is caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV), and we know how to prevent it effectively. However, there is a small percentage of cervical tumours unrelated to HPV whose cause is as yet unknown.
On the basis of a study we have conducted of samples from women treated in Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, a centre of reference for the treatment of gynaecological cancer, we know that cervical cancer not caused by HPV has a worse prognosis and therefore must be treated more aggressively. We are currently investigating the molecular mechanisms implicated in these cancers to discover how to treat them more specifically and with greater success.