Can papilloma virus testing be used to improve cervical cancer screening?

Int J Cancer. 1996 Mar 15;65(6):768-73. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0215(19960315)65:6<768::AID-IJC10>3.0.CO;2-0.


This report investigates different options for using human papillomavirus (HPV) testing in cervical cancer prevention. These options are evaluated by a stochastic model of the progression of pre-malignancy and its relationship to HPV infection. Three screening policies are compared: 2 based on cytological screening, with or without HPV testing, and 1 in which HPV testing is the primary screening method. A policy of HPV testing for women with mildly abnormal smears would have little effect on the overall incidence of invasive cancer when compared with a policy of repeat cytology, provided follow-up is efficient. Moreover, the potential value of HPV testing as a primary screening method is strongly dependent on the proportion of neoplasias that are HPV-negative. Important factors in assessing the future role of HPV testing would be cost-effectiveness and benefits from improved compliance.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Papillomaviridae*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / diagnosis
  • Papillomavirus Infections / virology
  • Tumor Virus Infections / diagnosis
  • Tumor Virus Infections / virology
  • Uterine Cervical Dysplasia / diagnosis
  • Uterine Cervical Dysplasia / virology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / virology*