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Cancer Cytopathol. 2011 Aug 25;119(4):219-27. doi: 10.1002/cncy.20161. Epub 2011 Jun 29.

Testing for human papillomavirus in cervical cancer screening: a review of indications and methodology.

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  • 1James Homer Wright Laboratory of Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA.


High-risk human papillomavirus (hrHPV) testing has become an integral component of cervical cancer screening, given that persistent infection with hrHPV was recognized as a significant risk factor for most precancers and cancers of the cervix. Particularly, testing for hrHPV types (in conjunction with cervical cytology) has been approved for primary screening in women over 30 years of age and for cost-effective triaging of equivocal cervical cytology results. HPV was a small double-stranded DNA virus that cannot be cultured in vitro; so, different types of tests have been developed to detect its presence. Various molecular techniques were available for detecting the presence and/or quantity of hrHPV. In this review, the testing options for hrHPV and its surrogates, with an emphasis on those approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), were detailed. Cancer (Cancer Cytopathol) 2011;. © 2011 American Cancer Society.

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