September 6, 2011

Screening For HPV Persistence And Cervical Cancer Risk

Women over the age of thirty who test positive for HPV (Human Papillomavirus) should be re-tested two years later as part of cervical cancer screening, according to a study published online TK in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

HPV infection is the main cause of cervical cancer, although most women infected with HPV do not have cervical pathology and most HPV infections in women under the age of 25 go away. Screening is recommended for women over age thirty, and the type of HPV strain to screen for is important, since only some are associated with cervical cancer risk. Furthermore, only persistently detectable infections seem to be associated with cervical cancer risk. However, few long-term studies have been done on the persistence of these infections and cervical cancer risk.

To determine the association between persistent HPV infections and cervical cancer risk in women over the age of thirty, Hui-Chi Chen, PhD, of the Genomics Research Center of Academia Sinica in Taipei, Taiwan, and colleagues, followed a cohort of 11,923 women aged 30