There has been considerable debate regarding the existence of HPV-negative cervical carcinoma. In this issue of the journal, using well-controlled methodology, Walboomers et al. demonstrate that HPV DNA is present in almost all invasive carcinomas in a large multinational study. This indicates that HPV-negative carcinoma is extremely uncommon, if it exists at all. It also implies that HPV testing, if optimally applied, is capable of a sensitivity approaching 100 per cent. This has significant implications for cervical screening.
Copyright 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.