A systematic review of randomized trials assessing human papillomavirus testing in cervical screening
Our objective was to assess the sensitivity and specificity of HPV testing for cervical cancer screening in randomized trials. We conducted a systematic literature search of the following databases: MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE, Cochrane. Eligible studies were randomized trials comparing HPV-based to cytology-based screening strategies, with disease status determined by colposcopy/biopsy for participants with positive results. Disease rates (cervical intraepithelial neoplasia [CIN]2+ and 3+), sensitivity and positive predictive value were abstracted or calculated from the articles. Six studies met inclusion criteria. Relative sensitivities for detecting CIN3+ of HPV testing-based strategies versus cytology ranged from 0.8-2.1. The main limitation of our study was that testing methodologies and screening/management protocols were highly variable across studies. Screening strategies in which a single initial HPV-positive test led to colposcopy were more sensitive than cytology, but resulted in higher colposcopy rates. These results have implications for co-testing with HPV and cytology as recommended in the U.S.
Available from: Carlo Antonio Liverani
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ABSTRACT: There is no cure currently available for HPV infections, although ablative and excisional treatments of some dysplasias often result in a clinical and virological cure. Effective control measures of HPV-associated cancers rely on the prevention at four different levels. Apart from sexual abstinence, primary prevention is realized through vaccines targeting the most frequent HPV types: negative attitudes towards HPV vaccination and high costs are the main obstacles. The aim of secondary prevention is to detect precancerous changes before they develop into invasive cancer, while tertiary prevention involves actual treatment of high-grade lesions: in many countries routine screening with cytology is being challenged with HPV DNA testing. Quaternary prevention comprehends those actions adopted to mitigate or avoid unnecessary or excessive medical interventions, and may well be addressed in avoiding treatments for low-grade intraepithelial neoplasia. Though some gynecologists commonly recommend treatment for low-grade disease and women tend to prefer active management if not properly informed, harms arising from unnecessary treatments, increased costs, work overload for second-level health services, and induced psychosocial distress are causing on-going problems. Prevention efforts of genital HPV-associated cancers should concentrate in: (1) enhancing primary prevention through vaccination of all eligible subjects, (2) achieving high levels of adherence to routine screening programs, (3) treating precancerous lesions, and (4) monitoring current guidelines recommendations to avoid overtreatments. Novel research projects should be designed to study the delicate mechanisms of immune response to HPV.
Available from: Kathy L Maclaughlin
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ABSTRACT: Aims were to assess the prevalence of Papanicolaou (Pap) abnormalities found with cervical cancer screening in Agogo and Nkawie, communities in the Ashanti region of Ghana, and compare the correlation between Pap readings performed at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana, and at the Mayo Clinic cytology laboratory in Rochester, MN. Demographic data was collected and Pap tests were performed on women recruited for screening in the communities of Agogo (n=119) and Nkawie (n=255). The Pap tests were assessed by pathology laboratory staff at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital and Mayo Clinic. There was a significant difference in prevalence of abnormal cytology between the sites with a rate of 12.6% in Agogo and 3.5% in Nkawie (P=0.016). Demographic differences were noted in education level (P<0.001), occupation (P<0.001), religion (P=0.002), and marital status (P<0.001). The Cohen correlation coefficient between the two pathology departments interpreting samples was 0.185, which indicates a significant degree of discordance (P<0.001). Currently Ghana does not have a national cervical cancer screening program. Identifying higher risk communities and patients as a priority for screening may be useful with limited resources. Accurate identification of Pap abnormalities is necessary to implement an effective screening program.
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