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    Is HPV testing ready for ‘prime’ time in cervical cancer detection?


    In addition, more women, especially in this age group, are likely to be referred to colposcopy and for unnecessary biopsies. The recent FDA approval will allow direct marketing of the cobas HPV test to patients and physicians as a screening test, a move that may be premature given the limited data concerning its efficacy as a primary screening tool for cervical cancer.

    In summary, while HPV typing plays a key role in screening women for invasive cervical cancer, I believe longer follow-up and more data are needed before replacing the current screening guidelines with the cobas HPV test as a stand-alone screening tool for cervical cancer.


    1. Saslow D, Solomon D, Lawson HW, et al. American Cancer Society, American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology, and American Society for Clinical Pathology screening guidelines for the prevention and early detection of cervical cancer. Am J Clin Pathol. 2012;137(4):516-542.

    2. Stoler MH, Wright TC Jr, Sharma A, et al. High-risk human papillomavirus testing in women with ASC-US cytology.: results from the ATHENA HPV study. Am J Clin Pathol. 2011;135(3):468–475.

    3. Park Y, Lee E, Choi J, Jeong S, Kim HS. Comparison of the Abbott RealTime high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV), Roche Cobas HPV, and Hybrid Capture 2 assays to direct sequencing and genotyping of HPV DNA. J Clin Microbiol. 2012;50(7):2359–2365.

    4. Katki HA, Kinney WK, Fetterman B, et al. Cervical cancer risk for women undergoing concurrent testing for human papillomavirus and cervical cytology: a population-based study in routine clinical practice. Lancet Oncol. 2011;12(7):663–672.

    Sarah Feldman, MD, MPH
    Dr. Feldman is Associate Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology at Harvard Medical School, Director of Ambulatory ...
    Aparna Kamat, MD
    Dr. Kamat is the Director of Gynecologic Oncology in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas.


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