Author Affiliations: Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (Dr Schiffman), and Division of Cancer Prevention (Dr Solomon), National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.
Automated, liquid-based cytology has virtually replaced conventional Papanicolaou (Pap) smears in the United States. However, in this issue of JAMA, Siebers et al1 demonstrate in a large randomized clinical trial that the most common liquid-based cytology method is no better for detection of cervical precancer than well-performed Pap smears. This trial confirms a recent meta-analysis that also showed no incremental improvement in accuracy using liquid-based cytology.2
Schiffman M, Solomon D. Screening and Prevention Methods for Cervical Cancer. JAMA. 2009;302(16):1809-1810. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1573