Human papillomavirus and Papanicolaou tests to screen for cervical cancer.

Pontus Naucler, Walter Ryd, Sven Tornberg, Anders Strand, Goran Wadell, Kristina Elfgren, Thomas Radberg, Björn Strander, Ola Forslund, Bengt-Göran Hansson, Eva Rylander, Joakim Dillner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

648 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

Background Screening for cervical cancer based on testing for human papillomavirus (HPV) increases the sensitivity of detection of high-grade (grade 2 or 3) cervical intraepithelial neoplasia, but whether this gain represents overdiagnosis or protection against future high-grade cervical epithelial neoplasia or cervical cancer is unknown. Methods In a population-based screening program in Sweden, 12,527 women 32 to 38 years of age were randomly assigned at a 1:1 ratio to have an HPV test plus a Papanicolaou (Pap) test (intervention group) or a Pap test alone (control group). Women with a positive HPV test and a normal Pap test result were offered a second HPV test at least 1 year later, and those who were found to be persistently infected with the same high-risk type of HPV were then offered colposcopy with cervical biopsy. A similar number of double-blinded Pap smears and colposcopies with biopsy were performed in randomly selected women in the control group. Comprehensive registry data were used to follow the women for a mean of 4.1 years. The relative rates of grade 2 or 3 cervical intraepithelial neoplasia or cancer detected at enrollment and at subsequent screening examinations were calculated. Results At enrollment, the proportion of women in the intervention group who were found to have lesions of grade 2 or 3 cervical intraepithelial neoplasia or cancer was 51% greater (95% confidence interval [CI], 13 to 102) than the proportion of women in the control group who were found to have such lesions. At subsequent screening examinations, the proportion of women in the intervention group who were found to have grade 2 or 3 lesions or cancer was 42% less (95% CI, 4 to 64) and the proportion with grade 3 lesions or cancer was 47% less (95% CI, 2 to 71) than the proportions of control women who were found to have such lesions. Women with persistent HPV infection remained at high risk for grade 2 or 3 lesions or cancer after referral for colposcopy. Conclusions The addition of an HPV test to the Pap test to screen women in their mid-30s for cervical cancer reduces the incidence of grade 2 or 3 cervical intraepithelial neoplasia or cancer detected by subsequent screening examinations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1589-1597
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Volume357
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Microbiology in the medical area

Keywords

  • Adult
  • Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia: diagnosis
  • Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia: pathology
  • Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia: prevention & control
  • DNA
  • Colposcopy
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Papillomavirus Infections: diagnosis
  • Papillomaviridae: isolation & purification
  • Mass Screening
  • Papillomaviridae: genetics
  • Vaginal Smears
  • Viral: analysis
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms: diagnosis
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms: prevention & control
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms: pathology

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