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HPV Primary Screening now supported by ACOG

In Jan 2015, the Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO), the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (ASCCP), with input from representatives of five other US national medical organizations (ACOG, ACS, ASCP, ASC, CAP) issued an Interim Guidance Report after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the cobas® HPV Test as a primary, or first, test performed for cervical cancer screening.  This new guidance is in addition to the existing 2012 guidelines and specifically addresses the implementation of HPV testing in primary screening.

In Jan 2016, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) published Practice Bulletin 157, that supports the use of cobas® HPV Test for primary cervical cancer screening as an alternative to current cytology-based cancer screening methods in women 25 years and older. In October 2016, the clinical management guidelines for cervical cancer screening and prevention were updated and Practice Bulletin 168 was issued to replace 157.

The guidance recommends:

  • Primary HPV testing can be considered for women starting at age 25.
  • Women with a negative primary HPV test result should not be retested again for at least three years. This is the same screening interval recommended under current guidelines for a normal cytology test result.
  • An HPV test positive for HPV 16 or 18, two types associated with a higher risk of future disease, should be followed with colposcopy.
  • A test that is positive for HPV types other than 16 or 18 should be followed with cytology testing.

ACOG Bulletin on HPV primary screening


New interim guidance


End-of-study results from ATHENA newly
published in Gynecologic Oncology