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January 5, 2000

Human Papillomavirus Testing for Primary Cervical Cancer Screening

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Department of Mathematics, Statistics, and Epidemiology, Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London, England.

JAMA. 2000;283(1):108-109. doi:10.1001/jama.283.1.108

The human papillomavirus (HPV) has been clearly established as the primary cause of cervical cancer in nearly all cases.1 Thus, it should not be surprising that testing for HPV should have a role in measures aimed at control of this disease. The ultimate goal must be eradication of HPV by vaccination, but a more immediate prospect is the detection and monitoring of the virus as part of the screening and diagnostic process. Testing for HPV could have 3 potential roles: triage of patients with atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASCUS) and low-grade cervical smears; surveillance of high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia and localized (micro) invasive disease after treatment; and primary screening—either alone or in combination with cytology.