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Cervical Cancer Prevention: From DNA to mRNA? - New Technologies for Cervical Cancer Screening 2 (NTCC2)

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Last updated:18th Apr 2013
In industrialized countries, cervical cancer is a well controlled disease thanks to the diffusion of Pap test and, in particular, to organized screening programs, which are able to detect and treat pre-invasive lesions (cervical intraepithelial neoplasia, CIN). The human papilloma virus (HPV) has been recognised as the necessary, but not sufficient, cause of cervical cancer, so a new screening test based on the identification of high risk (HR) HPV types has been developed(HPV DNA test). This test has demonstrated to be more effective than cytology in reducing the incidence and the mortality of cervical cancer, but it is less specific, so the use of a test triage is necessary to reduce the number of colposcopies and the risk of over-diagnosis (due to the potential regressivity of pre-invasive lesions). Until now, the triage test used is the cytology (Pap test). Recently specific biomarkers (mRNA and p16 tests) have been introduced for high grade CIN, targeting the molecular alterations strictly associated to transformation rather than simply detecting HR-HPV infections. These tests are more specific than HPV DNA test with a modest reduction of sensitivity for high-grade lesions. This is a multicenter randomised trial nested into some Italian screening programs based on the use of HPV DNA test as primary test. All women with positive HPV DNA test will be tested for cytology and also for mRNA and p16. Women with positive cytology will be referred to colposcopy, while women with negative cytology will be randomized into two arms. This study aims to evaluate if mRNA and p16 could be used as test of triage of HPV DNA or as a primary screening test with direct sending in colposcopy. In particular the main objectives are: - Measuring the cumulative detection rate of CIN2+ in the five years following a HPV DNA positive test and mRNA or p16 negative. - Measuring the potential reduction of overdiagnosis of using mRNA or p16 test instead of DNA, with direct sending in colposcopy - Measuring the reduction of overdiagnosis of cytological triage or triage with mRNA or p16 compared to the direct sending in colposcopy in women with HPV DNA test positive.
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Study start date 2013-04-18

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