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      Evaluation of the applicability of internal controls on self-collected samples for high-risk human papillomavirus is needed


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          Self-collection of cervical samples to detect high-risk human papillomavirus (hr-HPV) is a trending topic in primary cervical cancer screening. This study evaluates the applicability of a self-sampling device to routine molecular procedures for hr-HPV detection.


          In a primary health care facility in Kinshasa, Congo, 187 self-collected samples (Evalyn Brush) were gathered and sent to Ghent University Hospital (UZ Ghent) and Algemeen Medisch Labo (AML) in Belgium where routine tests for hr-HPV were applied (Abbott RealTime hr-HPV and qPCR (E6/E7), respectively). Sample type effect was evaluated by comparing the internal control (IC) between the self-collected samples and routine, clinician-taken samples randomly selected from the UZ Ghent archive.


          In UZ Ghent an error was encountered in 9.1% (17/187) of self-collected samples due to a lack of IC signal. The hr-HPV prevalence in the remaining 170 samples was 18,8%. Comparing IC results between the self-collected and clinician-collected groups, a significant difference (p < 0,001) was found, with higher IC signals in the clinician-collected group. In AML, an error was encountered in 17.6% (33/187) of samples, including 16/17 of the UZ Ghent. The remaining sample with IC error gave a negative result in AML. Among the 154 samples without IC error at AML, a correlation of 90% was seen between both laboratories with a 77% negativity rate.


          Testing the self-collected specimens by 2 routine hr-HPV tests gave a high IC error rate (9.1–17.6%). A possible solution would be to differentiate cut-offs for IC values depending on sample type, as currently used cut-offs are set for clinician-taken samples.

          Supplementary Information

          The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1186/s12905-023-02691-8.

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          Most cited references23

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          Evidence regarding human papillomavirus testing in secondary prevention of cervical cancer.

          More than ever, clinicians need regularly updated reviews given the continuously increasing amount of new information regarding innovative cervical cancer prevention methods. A summary is given from recent meta-analyses and systematic reviews on 3 possible clinical applications of human papillomavirus (HPV) testing: triage of women with equivocal or low-grade cytologic abnormalities; prediction of the therapeutic outcome after treatment of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) lesions, and last not but not least, primary screening for cervical cancer and pre-cancer. Consistent evidence is available indicating that HPV-triage with the Hybrid Capture(®) 2 assay (Qiagen Gaithersburg, Inc., MD, USA [previously Digene Corp.] (HC2) is more accurate (higher sensitivity, similar specificity) than repeat cytology to triage women with equivocal Pap smear results. Several other tests show at least similar accuracy but mRNA testing with the APTIMA(®) (Gen-Probe Inc., San Diego, CA, USA) test is similarly sensitive but more specific compared to HC2. In triage of low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (LSIL), HC2 is more sensitive but its specificity is substantially lower compared to repeat cytology. The APTIMA(®) test is more specific than HC2 without showing a loss in sensitivity. Identification of DNA of HPV types 16 and/or 18, or RNA from the five most carcinogenic HPV types allow selecting women at highest risk for CIN3+ but the sensitivity and negative predictive value of these markers are lower than full-range high-risk HPV (hrHPV) testing. After conservative treatment of cervical pre-cancer, HPV testing picks up more quickly, with higher sensitivity and not lower specificity, residual or recurrent high-grade CIN than follow-up cytology. Primary screening for hrHPV generally detects more CIN2, CIN3 or cancer compared to cytology at cut-off atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASC-US) or LSIL, but is less specific. Combined HPV and cytology screening provides a further small gain in sensitivity at the expense of a considerable loss in specificity if positive by either test is referred to colposcopy, in comparison with HPV testing only. Randomised trials and follow-up of cohort studies consistently demonstrate a significantly lower cumulative incidence of CIN3+ and even of cancer, in women aged 30 years or older, who were at enrollment hrHPV DNA negative compared to those who were cytologically negative. The difference in cumulative risk of CIN3+ or cancer for double negative (cytology & HPV) versus only HPV-negative women is small. HC2, GP5+/6+ PCR (polymerase chain reaction), cobas(®) 4800 PCR (Roche Molecular Systems Inc., Alameda, CA, USA) and Real Time PCR (Abbott Molecular, Des Plaines, IL, USA) can be considered as clinically validated for use in primary screening. The loss in specificity associated with primary HPV-based screening can be compensated by appropriate algorithms involving reflex cytology and/or HPV genotyping for HPV16 or 18. There exists a substantial evidence base to support that HPV testing is advantageous both in triage of women with equivocal abnormal cytology, in surveillance after treatment of CIN lesions and in primary screening of women aged 30 years or older. However, the possible advantages offered by HPV-based screening require a well organised program with good compliance with screening and triage policies. This article forms part of a special supplement entitled "Comprehensive Control of HPV Infections and Related Diseases" Vaccine Volume 30, Supplement 5, 2012. Copyright © 2012 Marc Arbyn. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
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            Detecting cervical precancer and reaching underscreened women by using HPV testing on self samples: updated meta-analyses

            Abstract Objective To evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of high-risk human papillomavirus (hrHPV) assays on self samples and the efficacy of self sampling strategies to reach underscreened women. Design Updated meta-analysis. Data sources Medline (PubMed), Embase, and CENTRAL from 1 January 2013 to 15 April 2018 (accuracy review), and 1 January 2014 to 15 April 2018 (participation review). Review methods Accuracy review: hrHPV assay on a vaginal self sample and a clinician sample; and verification of the presence of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2 or worse (CIN2+) by colposcopy and biopsy in all enrolled women or in women with positive tests. Participation review: study population included women who were irregularly or never screened; women in the self sampling arm (intervention arm) were invited to collect a self sample for hrHPV testing; women in the control arm were invited or reminded to undergo a screening test on a clinician sample; participation in both arms was documented; and a population minimum of 400 women. Results 56 accuracy studies and 25 participation trials were included. hrHPV assays based on polymerase chain reaction were as sensitive on self samples as on clinician samples to detect CIN2+ or CIN3+ (pooled ratio 0.99, 95% confidence interval 0.97 to 1.02). However, hrHPV assays based on signal amplification were less sensitive on self samples (pooled ratio 0.85, 95% confidence interval 0.80 to 0.89). The specificity to exclude CIN2+ was 2% or 4% lower on self samples than on clinician samples, for hrHPV assays based on polymerase chain reaction or signal amplification, respectively. Mailing self sample kits to the woman’s home address generated higher response rates to have a sample taken by a clinician than invitation or reminder letters (pooled relative participation in intention-to-treat-analysis of 2.33, 95% confidence interval 1.86 to 2.91). Opt-in strategies where women had to request a self sampling kit were generally not more effective than invitation letters (relative participation of 1.22, 95% confidence interval 0.93 to 1.61). Direct offer of self sampling devices to women in communities that were underscreened generated high participation rates (>75%). Substantial interstudy heterogeneity was noted (I2>95%). Conclusions When used with hrHPV assays based on polymerase chain reaction, testing on self samples was similarly accurate as on clinician samples. Offering self sampling kits generally is more effective in reaching underscreened women than sending invitations. However, since response rates are highly variable among settings, pilots should be set up before regional or national roll out of self sampling strategies.
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              Human papillomavirus testing for the detection of high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia and cancer: final results of the POBASCAM randomised controlled trial.

              Human papillomavirus (HPV) testing is more sensitive for the detection of high-grade cervical lesions than is cytology, but detection of HPV by DNA screening in two screening rounds 5 years apart has not been assessed. The aim of this study was to assess whether HPV DNA testing in the first screen decreases detection of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) grade 3 or worse, CIN grade 2 or worse, and cervical cancer in the second screening. In this randomised trial, women aged 29-56 years participating in the cervical screening programme in the Netherlands were randomly assigned to receive HPV DNA (GP5+/6+-PCR method) and cytology co-testing or cytology testing alone, from January, 1999, to September, 2002. Randomisation (in a 1:1 ratio) was done with computer-generated random numbers after the cervical specimen had been taken. At the second screening 5 years later, HPV DNA and cytology co-testing was done in both groups; researchers were masked to the patient's assignment. The primary endpoint was the number of CIN grade 3 or worse detected. Analysis was done by intention to screen. The trial is now finished and is registered, number ISRCTN20781131. 22,420 women were randomly assigned to the intervention group and 22 518 to the control group; 19 999 in the intervention group and 20,106 in the control group were eligible for analysis at the first screen. At the second screen, 19 579 women in the intervention group and 19,731 in the control group were eligible, of whom 16,750 and 16,743, respectively, attended the second screen. In the second round, CIN grade 3 or worse was less common in the intervention group than in the control group (88 of 19 579 in the intervention group vs 122 of 19,731 in the control group; relative risk 0·73, 95% CI 0·55-0·96; p=0·023). Cervical cancer was also less common in the intervention group than in the control group (four of 19 579 in the intervention group vs 14 of 19,731; 0·29, 0·10-0·87; p=0·031). In the baseline round, detection of CIN grade 3 or worse did not differ significantly between groups (171 of 19 999 vs 150 of 20,106; 1·15, 0·92-1·43; p=0·239) but was significantly more common in women with normal cytology (34 of 19,286 vs 12 of 19,373; 2·85, 1·47-5·49; p=0·001). Furthermore, significantly more cases of CIN grade 2 or worse were detected in the intervention group than in the control group (267 of 19 999 vs 215 of 20,106; 1·25, 1·05-1·50; p=0·015). In the second screen, fewer HPV16-positive CIN grade 3 or worse were detected in the intervention group than in the control group (17 of 9481 vs 35 of 9354; 0·48, 0·27-0·85; p=0·012); detection of non-HPV16-positive CIN grade 3 or worse did not differ between groups (25 of 9481 vs 25 of 9354; 0·99, 0·57-1·72; p=1·00). The cumulative detection of CIN grade 3 or worse and CIN grade 2 or worse did not differ significantly between study arms, neither for the whole study group (CIN grade 3 or worse: 259 of 19 999 vs 272 of 20,106; 0·96, 0·81-1·14, p=0·631; CIN grade 2 or worse: 427 of 19 999 vs 399 of 20,106; 1·08, 0·94-1·24; p=0·292), nor for subgroups of women invited for the first time (CIN grade 3 or worse in women aged 29-33 years: 102 of 3139 vs 105 of 3128; 0·97, 0·74-1·27; CIN grade 2 or worse in women aged 29-33 years: 153 of 3139 vs 151 of 3128; 1·01, 0·81-1·26; CIN grade 3 or worse in women aged 34-56 years: 157 of 16,860 vs 167 of 16 978; 0·95, 0·76-1·18; CIN grade 2 or worse in women aged 34-56 years: 274 of 16,860 vs 248 of 16 978; 1·11, 0·94-1·32). Implementation of HPV DNA testing in cervical screening leads to earlier detection of clinically relevant CIN grade 2 or worse, which when adequately treated, improves protection against CIN grade 3 or worse and cervical cancer. Early detection of high-grade cervical legions caused by HPV16 was a major component of this benefit. Our results lend support to the use of HPV DNA testing for all women aged 29 years and older. Zorg Onderzoek Nederland (Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development). Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

                Author and article information

                BMC Womens Health
                BMC Womens Health
                BMC Women's Health
                BioMed Central (London )
                27 November 2023
                27 November 2023
                : 23
                : 635
                [1 ]Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Ghent University, International Centre for Reproductive Health (ICRH), ( https://ror.org/00cv9y106) Corneel Heymanslaan 10, Ghent, 9000 Belgium
                [2 ]Department of Diagnostic Sciences, Ghent University, ( https://ror.org/00cv9y106) Corneel Heymanslaan 10, Ghent, 9000 Belgium
                [3 ]Algemeen Ziekenhuis Sint-Lucas Brugge, Sint-Lucaslaan 29, Brugge, 8310 Belgium
                [4 ]Department of Clinical Biology, General Provincial Hospital of Kinshasa, Avenue Colonel Ebeya 169, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
                [5 ]Laboratory of Molecular Pathology, Algemeen Medisch Labo, ( https://ror.org/008x57b05) Antwerp, Belgium
                [6 ]Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Ghent University Hospital, ( https://ror.org/00xmkp704) Corneel Heymanslaan 10, Ghent, 9000 Belgium
                © The Author(s) 2023

                Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

                : 28 July 2023
                : 6 October 2023
                Custom metadata
                © BioMed Central Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2023

                Obstetrics & Gynecology
                human papillomavirus,self-sampling,internal control,hpv assay
                Obstetrics & Gynecology
                human papillomavirus, self-sampling, internal control, hpv assay


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