HPV-Based Cervical CA Screening More Sensitive

Med Page Today

By Crystal Phend, Senior Staff Writer, MedPage Today
Published: April 27, 2010
Reviewed by Zalman S. Agus, MD; Emeritus Professor
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

A cervical cancer screening strategy based on human papillomavirus (HPV) testing — with conventional cytology reserved for positive screens — detects more risky lesions than the standard Pap smear alone, Finnish researchers found.

Among women who actually attended screening, the HPV program performed even better, with 77% higher sensitivity than smear testing, according to Ahti Anttila, PhD, of the Finnish Cancer Registry’s Mass Screening Registry in Helsinki, and colleagues.

This is the opposite approach to standard practice in the U.S., where the Pap smear is the standard first-line screening tool.

In a population-based randomized study, HPV-based screening caught 44% more cases of severe dysplasia and cervical cancer overall than did conventional cytological screening (95% CI 1% to 205%), investigators reported online in BMJ.

Among women who actually attended screening, the HPV program performed even better, with 77% higher sensitivity than smear testing, according to Ahti Anttila, PhD, of the Finnish Cancer Registry’s Mass Screening Registry in Helsinki, and colleagues.

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.