Self-sampling identifies twice as many women at risk of cervical cancer

February 15, 2018

Using self-sampling followed by HPV testing, more than twice as many women at risk of developing cervical cancer could be identified and offered preventive treatment. This is shown by researchers at Uppsala University in the first randomised study in the world comparing two ways of identifying cervical cancer, published today in the British Journal of Cancer.

Cervical cancer screening has previously been based on cell sampling and cytology. This method initially reduced the number of cases of cervical cancer in Sweden substantially, but additional effects have been difficulty to achieve. This is due to the limited sensitivity of the method, and the fact that not all women attend screening.

In the new study, researchers have compared today's screening based on cytology and sampling by a midwife, with the woman taking a self-sample and submitting it for analysis of human papillomavirus, HPV, which is the cause of cervical cancer.

The study is based on 36,390 women between the ages of 30 and 49 who participated in the organised screening in Uppsala County, 2013-2015. These were divided into two groups: one group performed self-sampling for an HPV test, while the other group had a midwife take a cell sample for cytological analysis. Women who were HPV positive repeated the self-sampling after 4 months and those who were HPV positive in both of their tests were called in for gynaecological examination. During 18 months of follow-up, the number of women with severe cell changes was recorded for both groups.

The results show that self-sampling was received very positively. Of the women who were offered self-sampling, 47% opted to participate, compared with 39% among those who were offered regular cell sampling. Among the women who did self-sampling for HPV testing, more than twice as many with cell changes were found than among those who had a cytology analysis. Also, the time until diagnosis was shorter for those who did self-sampling.

This is the first randomised study in the world that compares these two ways of identifying cervical cancer. By using self-sampling followed by HPV testing, more than twice as many women at risk of cervical cancer could be identified and offered preventive treatment. Screening based on self-sampling also makes it possible to reach women who have previously chosen not to participate and have a sample taken by a midwife.

Calculations of the health-economic consequences of self-sampling and HPV testing show that the total cost of cervical cancer screening could be halved, while still being twice as effective as current the method. Few changes in healthcare can simultaneously double the effectiveness and halve the cost. Screening based on self-sampling also makes it possible to reach women who have chosen not to participate in the cell sampling and take a sample in midwife.
-end-


Uppsala University

Related Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

New blood cancer treatment works by selectively interfering with cancer cell signalling
University of Alberta scientists have identified the mechanism of action behind a new type of precision cancer drug for blood cancers that is set for human trials, according to research published in Nature Communications.

UCI researchers uncover cancer cell vulnerabilities; may lead to better cancer therapies
A new University of California, Irvine-led study reveals a protein responsible for genetic changes resulting in a variety of cancers, may also be the key to more effective, targeted cancer therapy.

Breast cancer treatment costs highest among young women with metastic cancer
In a fight for their lives, young women, age 18-44, spend double the amount of older women to survive metastatic breast cancer, according to a large statewide study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cancer mortality continues steady decline, driven by progress against lung cancer
The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported.

Stress in cervical cancer patients associated with higher risk of cancer-specific mortality
Psychological stress was associated with a higher risk of cancer-specific mortality in women diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers identify one way T cell function may fail in cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have discovered a mechanism by which one type of immune cell, CD8+ T cells, can become dysfunctional, impeding its ability to seek and kill cancer cells.

More cancer survivors, fewer cancer specialists point to challenge in meeting care needs
An aging population, a growing number of cancer survivors, and a projected shortage of cancer care providers will result in a challenge in delivering the care for cancer survivors in the United States if systemic changes are not made.

New cancer vaccine platform a potential tool for efficacious targeted cancer therapy
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered a solution in the form of a cancer vaccine platform for improving the efficacy of oncolytic viruses used in cancer treatment.

American Cancer Society outlines blueprint for cancer control in the 21st century
The American Cancer Society is outlining its vision for cancer control in the decades ahead in a series of articles that forms the basis of a national cancer control plan.

Read More: Cancer News and Cancer Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.