A new DNA test from Qiagen outperforms Pap smears in detecting the virus behind cervical cancer, reports the New York Times. An article in the New England Journal of Medicine looks into the effectiveness of human papillomavirus testing versus cytologic testing versus visual inspection of the cervix with acetic acid on of cervical cancer incidence and death in India. After eight years of follow-up, the authors report that a single round of HPV testing was associated with a decline in cervical cancer and death as compared to an uninspected control group, while the other groups showed no reduction as compared to the control. An NEJM editorial adds, "The implications of the findings of this trial are immediate and global: international experts in cervical-cancer prevention should now adapt HPV testing for widespread implementation." With funding from the Gates Foundation, Qiagen has developed a $5 version of the test.
Women the World Over Rejoice
Apr 08, 2009