Screening for HPV genotypes 16 and 18 helps detect cervical pre-cancer missed by Pap test

April 23, 2017

Novel findings from the ATHENA clinical trial, show that women positive for HPV 16 and/or 18 with the cobas? 4800 HPV Test who had a normal Pap test were at the same risk of having cervical pre-cancer as women who tested positive for any of the 14 high-risk HPV types with an equivocal Pap test (ASC-US, Atypical Squamous Cells of Undetermined Significance). The latter clinical situation is broadly accepted to carry a risk of pre-cancer that warrants immediate investigation, underscoring the importance of testing for HPV genotypes 16 and 18 in women with normal Pap tests.

"ATHENA is a landmark trial demonstrating how state-of-the-art medical diagnostics can address the limitations of cervical cancer screening with Pap tests alone," said Daniel O'Day, Chief Operating Officer for Roche Diagnostics. "If more women were tested for high-risk HPV genotypes, specifically genotypes 16 and 18, more cervical pre-cancer could be found and treated earlier. This would prevent progression to cancer and ultimately save lives."