HPV fails to boost cancer detection

Combining HPV tests with the current method of routine liquid-based cytology (LBC) screening does not appear to increase cervical cancer detection, UK research suggests.

For this study, 24,510 women aged 20 to 64, attending practices or family planning clinics in Greater Manchester, were randomised to receive either a smear test or HPV testing and a smear. They were followed up and screened over three years.

HPV testing did detect cases of precancerous cells that were missed by LBC alone in the first screening round.

However, there were fewer cases detected by HPV testing in the second round and no significant overall difference between the two groups.

The researchers, from the University of Manchester, said the trial showed no evidence that LBC combined with HPV testing in primary cervical screening detected more precancerous cervical cells.

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

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