A Win for Cervical Cancer Prevention.
USPSTF Awards HPV Primary Screening with an "A" Rating in Guidelines
Primary HPV screening has been awarded the highest "A" rating in the US Preventive Services Task Force guidelines, replacing the 2012 recommendations. This positions HPV first-line testing for women ages 30-65 every 5 years as one of the "preferred screening strategies", along-side long standing option of Pap cytology every 3 years. 1
Cotesting every 5 years as an “alternative strategy has demonstrated similar effectiveness, although it may result in more tests and procedures”. 1 In an editorial published alongside the recommendations Dr. Lee Learman and Dr. Francisco Garcia remark, cotesting "is associated with increased tests and diagnostic procedures that may not benefit the patient and that have real costs to the health system". 2
The USPSTF independent panel of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine reviewed abundant data before finally determining the Primary HPV screening strategy provided equivalent or better detection than current standards, along with greater reassurance of safety than Pap cytology alone, providing for the option of an extended screening interval.
Today, only DNA-based HPV tests have achieved FDA-approval for use as the primary screen, including the cobas® HPV Test.