HPV DNA testing for cervical cancer

Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement
Record ID 32003000556
Authors' objectives:

This review aims to assess the available evidence on the effectiveness of HPV DNA testing for cervical cancer.

Authors' recommendations: With regard to human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA testing for cervical cancer, the ICSI Technology Assessment Committee finds the following: There is no evidence to support the use of HPV DNA testing alone as a primary screening tool. (Conclusion Grade II) From a public health perspective, further reduction in the incidence of cervical cancer would best be achieved by increasing the number of women who have Pap smears at least once every 3 years. As an adjunctive test to Pap smears for targeted high-risk groups, HPV DNA testing increases the sensitivity and assists in selecting patients for colposcopy. However, there is no evidence to suggest that there is a subset of patients for whom HPV DNA results would alter the treatment plan. (Conclusion Grade II) The test procedure for HPV DNA is safe; the risk lies in what is done with the results. Failure to diagnose high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL) or invasive cervical cancer (false negative) or referral to colposcopy or biopsy when not needed (false positive) may result in morbidity or mortality. Improved precision of the HPV DNA test is expected in the future (i.e., ability to detect low-grade cancers and to determine viral load).
Authors' methods: Review
Project Status: Completed
Year Published: 2001
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: United States
MeSH Terms
  • Mass Screening
  • Papillomaviridae
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms
Organisation Name: Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement
Contact Address: 8009 34th Avenue South, Suite 1200, Bloomington, MN, USA. Tel: +1 952 814 7060; Fax: +1 952 858 9675
Contact Name: icsi.info@icsi.org
Contact Email: icsi.info@icsi.org
Copyright: Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI)
This is a bibliographic record of a published health technology assessment from a member of INAHTA or other HTA producer. No evaluation of the quality of this assessment has been made for the HTA database.