Cervical cancer is the principal cause of mortality due to cancer in women worldwide. New predictive markers may increase survival rates by improving the treatment of patients at a high risk for cancer. This study was carried out to investigate the amplification of human telomerase RNA component (hTERC) or/and c-MYC in cervical epithelial exfoliated cells for cervical carcinoma screening. We collected 171 specimens. including speciments from normal cervix, benign lesions, cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN)1, CIN2 and CIN3, or carcinoma in situ, as well as invasive cervical squamous cell carcinoma. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) was performed to detect alterations in hTERC and c-MYC expression. We analyzed the area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC), as well as the sensitivity and specificity of single screening and conjoined screening. There was a trend toward an increasing amplification of 2 genes with the increasing severity of cervical lesions. ROC curve analysis demonstrated that the AUC values of the hTERC gene for the screening of different cervical lesions were >0.8. Compared with the hTERC gene, the AUC of the c-MYC gene for the screening of ?CIN3 was >0.8 and the AUC for the screening of other cervical lesions was >0.7. For the screening of cervical lesions above the grade of benign lesions, cytological diagnosis was superior to the gene detection with significant differences. For the screening of cervical lesions >CIN1, there were no statistically significant differences (P>0.05) between the hTERC gene and cytological diagnosis, whereas the screening results of c-MYC detection and cytological diagnosis differed significantly (P<0.05). For the screening of cervical lesions >CIN2 or >CIN3, the detection of hTERC and c-MYC genes and cytological diagnosis had similar screening results with no statistically significant differences (P>0.05). In conclusion, using FISH to detect the amplification of hTERC or/and c-MYC on cervical epithelial exfoliated cells may be a useful and specific screening method for precancerous lesions.
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