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:6/26/2016)... ... 27, 2016 , ... Quality metrics are proliferating in cancer care, and are ... the eye of the beholder, according to experts who offered insights and commentary in ... Managed Care. For the full issue, click here . , For the American ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... ... a legally blind and certified personal trainer is helping to develop a weight loss fitness ... to fix the two major problems leading the fitness industry today:, , ... They don’t eliminate all the reasons people quit their exercise program ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to a possible lice infestation, as ... of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from a human host, and to ... one in the event that lice have simply gotten out of control. , As lice ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... and non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a ... area —Johnson is one of the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events ... turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. ... tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... and SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. , June 24, 2016 ... mobile pulmonary function testing company, is now able to perform sophisticated ... by ndd Medical Technologies , Inc. Patients ... hospital-based labs.  Thanks to ndd,s EasyOne PRO ® , ARL patients ... get any needed testing done in the comfort of her own ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... -- According to a new market research ... Safety Pen Needles), Needle Length (4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 8mm, ... Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) - Trends & Global Forecasts to ... for the forecast period of 2016 to 2021. This ... 2021 from USD 1.65 Billion in 2016, growing at ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Belgium , June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... announced the appointment of Dr. Edward Futcher ... a Non-Executive Director, effective June 23, 2016.Dr. Futcher ... and Nominations and Governance Committees.  As a non-executive ... provide independent expertise and strategic counsel to VolitionRx ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: