By Amy Orciari Herman
Edited by David G. Fairchild, MD, MPH, and Jaye Elizabeth Hefner, MD
Cervical Cancer Screening Can Start Later, Be Less Frequent in HPV-Vaccinated Women
Women who are fully vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV) can safely
start screening for cervical cancer at a later age — and can be screened less
often — than current guidelines recommend, according to an analysis in the
Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Researchers used a disease simulation model to assess the health and economic outcomes of various screening strategies in women fully vaccinated against HPV at age 12. Among the findings:
For those who received the bivalent or quadrivalent vaccine, screening every 5 years beginning at age 25 or 30 with either cytology or HPV testing was optimal in terms of health benefits and cost-effectiveness.
For those immunized with the nine-valent vaccine, screening every 10 years with HPV testing beginning at age 30 or 35 was optimal.
Currently recommended strategies — including cytology every 3 years starting at age 21 — "were inefficient."
The authors conclude: "Revisions in screening policies for vaccinated women are warranted."