At this time little, if any, of the vast knowledge base being generated by current research is available for practical application within screening programs, although the path is opening for the development of future methodologies that might someday lead to the successful eradication of cervical cancer. Current efforts to develop a vaccine against HPV are rapidly progressing and are promising. In the meantime, a better understanding and utilization of the technologies at hand will result in a successful, organized approach to the detection of early cervical cancer and its precursors . The adoption of any new screening technologies must result in a documented reduction in the incidence of cervical cancer. Until then, colposcopy and HPV DNA testing when indicated appears to remain as the undisputed gold standard in the evaluation of the patient at risk.