Navigation Links
HPV Test Bests Pap Smear in Studies
Date:10/17/2007

Experts debate whether it's time to change cervical cancer screening practices,,

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) -- A test to detect human papillomavirus (HPV) -- which causes most cervical cancers -- was far better than the standard Pap smear at catching malignancies, two new studies show.

What's unclear, however, is whether or not the HPV test should take the place of Pap testing, because it can have a slightly higher false positive rate, and it's not as effective in younger women.

"There are still many questions related to the use of HPV testing as the primary screening test," said Debbie Saslow, director of breast and gynecologic cancer for the American Cancer Society. "At this time, HPV testing alone (without a Pap test) is not FDA-approved as a primary screening test, so that approach is not recommended by the American Cancer Society."

But, Saslow pointed out, "The most important message remains unchanged: Women should be screened using one of three options: a conventional Pap test, liquid Pap or Pap plus the HPV test. For women who have access to HPV testing, the HPV test offers added benefits over [Pap tests] alone."

Pap tests have been the standard screening test for cervical cancer for the past 60 years. More recently, the liquid-based or thin-smear Pap test was developed, and it was initially thought that this newer technology would offer significant advantages over the traditional Pap test. However, studies haven't conclusively found a significant benefit to the newer test. Because most cervical cancers are caused by HPV, the test to detect HPV infection is also an option for screening in addition to the Pap test.

The most recent research comparing these screening tests appears in the Oct. 18 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The first study, done in Canada, compares the use of conventional Pap alone to the use of the HPV test alone.

The study included more than 10,000 women between 30 and 69 years old who were randomly assigned to one of the tests. The HPV test detected 94.6 percent of the abnormal growths that can lead to cervical cancer, while the Pap test found only 55.4 percent of these growths. Women who had an abnormal result were referred for further testing. If both Pap and HPV were used together, 100 percent of the abnormal growths were found. The false-positive rate for HPV was only 2.7 percent higher than the rate for Pap smears, according to the study.

"Even though Pap has worked, we have a test that's better than Pap, and in the coming years, we can switch to HPV and possibly screen every three or maybe even every five years and get the same level of protection," said study author Dr. Marie-Helene Mayrand, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology and social and preventive medicine at the University of Montreal. Mayrand was a doctoral candidate at McGill University in Montreal at the time of the study.

The second study, done in Sweden, included more than 12,000 women in their 30s who were randomized to receive either a conventional Pap test alone or an HPV test and a Pap test.

The researchers found abnormal cervical changes in 51 percent more women who had both tests than in the Pap group alone. In subsequent screenings, about 40 percent fewer precancerous lesions were found in the women who'd been screened with both tests compared to women who'd had the Pap test alone, which suggests that overdiagnosis from the HPV test is not as big an issue as some experts had feared.

"Adding HPV testing to Pap testing in routine cervical screening gives a longer protection against the severe precursor lesions of cervical cancer compared to just Pap testing," said study co-author Dr. Joakim Dillner, a professor of virology at Lund University and Malmo University Hospital in Malmo, Sweden.

"In women 30 years of age and older, it is likely to eventually replace the Pap test. The major benefit of the HPV test is that it, compared to Pap testing, enables lengthening the screening interval substantially," Dillner said.

Several questions remain, however. One is how the HPV test compares to the liquid-based Pap test, as neither of these studies used the newer test. And, Saslow pointed out, an emerging group of young women will have been vaccinated against HPV, and it's not clear how that might affect the reliability of the HPV test in the future.

More information

For more on preventing cervical cancer, visit the National Cancer Institute.



SOURCES: Joakim Dillner, M.D., Ph.D., professor, virology, Lund University and Malmo University Hospital, Malmo, Sweden; Marie-Helene Mayrand, M.D., assistant professor, obstetrics and gynecology and social and preventive medicine, University of Montreal; Debbie Saslow, Ph.D., director, breast and gynecologic cancer, American Cancer Society, Atlanta; Oct. 18, 2007, New England Journal of Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2007 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. American Bests Japanese Hot Dog Eating Champion, Sets Record
2. Conventional pap smears techniques to detect cervical cancer are here to stay
3. Unnecessary Pap Smears
4. Study Shows That Women Need To Be Explained About The Smear Test
5. Women Advised Not To Be Perturbed Over Smear Test Results
6. NHS Bosses Want To Encourage Women To Take Up Pap Smears
7. English Women Avoid Smear Test for Cervical Cancer
8. Extend Cervical Smears to Younger Women, Insist Specialists
9. Irish Outsourcing of Smear Test may Result in Cervical Cancer Being Undetected
10. Studies On Hearing Loss Discovers New Causes
11. Broccoli Found to Block Cancer Progression In Both Animal and Human Studies
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:7/27/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Patients with missing teeth now have the ... from Dr. Alejandro Kovacs. Dr. Kovacs is a board-certified periodontist and prosthodontist who ... dental implants in Longview, TX. , During traditional dental implant ...
(Date:7/27/2017)... ... 27, 2017 , ... TransPanel Volume 4 is a collection of animating panel ... exclusive features transitions that contain between 2 and 6 animated panels. Change the direction ... menus. TransPanel Volume 4 makes editing easy in Final Cut Pro X. , TransPanel ...
(Date:7/27/2017)... Clara, CA (PRWEB) , ... July 27, 2017 ... ... announces the addition of a secure cloud-based polysomnography (PSG) distributed scoring solution to ... support accelerated diagnostics and sleep care management. The speed and functionality of scoring ...
(Date:7/27/2017)... ... 2017 , ... SSCI, a division of Albany Molecular Research, ... representing a milestone achievement. , As an industry-leading provider of ... served as expert and fact witnesses to assist our clients to perform infringement ...
(Date:7/27/2017)... ... ... Angeles leg of the US movie premier of the Man in the Camo Jacket will ... Davis Theater inside the Grammy Museum Located in downtown Los Angeles in the LA Live ... musician, Mike Peters (of The Alarm), his rise to fame, battle with cancer and inspiring ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:7/24/2017)... July 24, 2017  Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: ... its second quarter 2017 operating results on Monday, August ... to follow at 5:00 p.m. ET. ... to a live broadcast of the conference call by ... participant code 51641230 approximately 15 minutes prior to the ...
(Date:7/20/2017)... 2017  Prime Therapeutics LLC (Prime) released this statement from ... today,s Institute for Clinical and Economic Review,s (ICER) public ... and value of abuse-deterrent formulations (ADF) of opioids. Prime was ... the meeting. "The ... to the use of abuse-deterrent formulations (ADF) in opioids in ...
(Date:7/14/2017)... VEGAS , July 13, 2017 It should ... United States is in the midst of a ... Control , since 1999, the number of overdose deaths from ... "resulting in over half a million dead from 2001 to ... codeine, oxycodone, and hydrocodone has similarly quadrupled, drawing a compelling ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: