Today we learn of a transformational event. Charles Bankhead writes today on medpagetoday.com about FDA approval of DNA testing for HPV as primary screening for cervical cancer. From Bankhead’s article I am not able to determine the genotypes which are identified by the DNA testing. Presumably, a full range of genotypes can be assessed. If true women will no longer be victims of the enormous false negative rate that is common to be accepted in the interpretation of Pap smears.
I have written in the past extensively on the subject of Pap smears as primary screening for cervical cancer. I presume that soon, women will only have Pap smears if they are tested HPV positive. This will certainly result in a heightened diagnostic accuracy because the Pap smears will all be performed in patients known to possess a high risk factor for intraepithelial neoplasia.