HPV test detects more pre-cancerous cells than conventional smear test

Apr 27, 2010

Human papillomavirus (HPV) screening detects more cervical severe pre-cancerous lesions than conventional cervical screening, finds a study published in the British Medical Journal today.

This is the first study to include the test in an established cervical screening programme and the findings are important for cervical cancer prevention, says Dr Ahti Anttila at the Finnish Cancer Registry, who led the research.

HPV is a common sexually transmitted infection seen most often in young women and adolescents. There are more than 100 types of HPV - some cause only , but others cause cancers including cervical cancer.

The study involved 58,282 women aged 30-60 years who were invited to participate in the routine cervical screening programme in Southern Finland between 2003 and 2005.

Women were randomly allocated to either an HPV test, with further screening if the test was positive, or to conventional cytology screening (the smear test or ). Women were then tracked for a maximum of five years.

The results show that HPV screening was more sensitive than conventional cytology screening in detecting severe pre-cancerous lesions on the surface of the cervix (known as cervical intraepithelial neoplasia or CIN III+).

Although the overall number of cervical cancer cases detected was small, the authors conclude that "considering the high probability of progression of CIN III lesions in women aged 35 years or more, our results are important for prevention of ."

Explore further: Six percent of colorectal cancer found to be interval tumors

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Physicians target the genes of lung, colon cancers

15 hours ago

(Medical Xpress)—University of Florida physicians and researchers are collaborating to map the genes of different types of cancer, and then deliver medication to attack cancer at its source.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Down's chromosome cause genome-wide disruption

The extra copy of Chromosome 21 that causes Down's syndrome throws a spanner into the workings of all the other chromosomes as well, said a study published Wednesday that surprised its authors.

Simplicity is key to co-operative robots

A way of making hundreds—or even thousands—of tiny robots cluster to carry out tasks without using any memory or processing power has been developed by engineers at the University of Sheffield, UK.

Progress in the fight against quantum dissipation

(Phys.org) —Scientists at Yale have confirmed a 50-year-old, previously untested theoretical prediction in physics and improved the energy storage time of a quantum switch by several orders of magnitude. ...