Tumor Virus Infections

New Tests for Cervical Cancer Screening - Article

ABSTRACT: The Papanicolaou (Pap) smear has been used to screen women for cervical cancer since 1940. Recently, a number of new technologies have been developed to improve the detection of cervical cancer and its precursors. However, there is substantial controversy about whether the new tests offer meaningful advantages over the conventional Pap smear. Ideally, these new tests will increase the early detection of meaningful Pap smear abnormalities, reduce the number of unsatisfactory smears and provide fewer ambiguous results. It is also hoped that these new screening methods will not increase the number of false-positive results, but will improve the productivity of cytology laboratories without substantially increasing costs. The new tests include liquid-based/thin-layer preparations to improve the quality and adequacy of the Pap smear; computer-assisted screening methods to improve Pap smear interpretation; and new-generation human papillomavirus testing methods that may be useful in triaging patients with atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance or low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions. Evidence on these new tests is reviewed and the advantages and disadvantages of their use are discussed.

Vulvar Cancer - Article

ABSTRACT: Vulvar cancer was reported in 3,200 women in 1998, resulting in 800 deaths. Recent evidence suggests that vulvar cancer comprises two separate diseases. The first type may develop from vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia caused by human papillomavirus infection and is increasing in prevalence among young women. The second type, which more often afflicts older women, may develop from vulvar non-neoplastic epithelial disorders as a result of chronic inflammation (the itch-scratch-lichen sclerosus hypothesis). Although vulvar cancer is relatively uncommon, early detection remains crucial given its significant impact on sexuality. Diagnosis is based on histology; therefore, any suspicious lesions of the vulva must be biopsied. Excisional or punch biopsy can be performed in the physician's office. Clinicians must closely monitor suspicious lesions because delayed biopsy and diagnosis are common. Once diagnosed, vulvar cancer is staged using the TNM classification system. Treatment is surgical resection, with the goal being complete removal of the tumor. There has been a recent trend toward more conservative surgery to decrease psychosexual complications.

Management of Cervical Cytologic Abnormalities - Article

ABSTRACT: The American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology developed guidelines in 2001 for the management of cervical cytologic abnormalities. The guidelines incorporate the Bethesda System 2001 terminology and data from randomized studies of atypical squamous cells, low-grade intraepithelial lesions, human papillomavirus testing, and liquid-based cytology to formulate evidence-based recommendations. Each recommendation is graded according to the strength of the recommendation and the quality of the evidence, and specific terminology is added to highlight management options. The effectiveness of each triage recommendation is determined by the percentage of grade 2 and 3 cervical intraepithelial neoplasia it detects. Colposcopy, repeat cytology, and human papillomavirus DNA testing are acceptable options in women with atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance, but human papillomavirus DNA testing is preferred if liquid-based cytology is used. Colposcopy is recommended for women with a diagnosis of "atypical squamous cells-cannot rule out high-grade intraepithelial lesion." Women with low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions should be referred for colposcopy, and women with high-grade lesions should undergo colposcopy and endocervical assessment. Colposcopy and endocervical sampling are recommended in women with all subcategories of atypical glandular cells. Endometrial sampling and colposcopy are recommended in women older than 35 years with atypical glandular cells and in younger women with unexplained vaginal bleeding. Women with a diagnosis of "atypical glandular cells-favor neoplasia" or adenocarcinoma-in-situ who are not found to have invasive disease on colposcopy should undergo a diagnostic excisional procedure, preferably a cold-knife conization.

The 2001 ASCCP Management Guidelines for Cervical Cytology - Editorials

CDC Releases 2002 Guidelines for Treating STDs: Part II. Human Papillomavirus and Hepatitis - Practice Guidelines

HPV Testing in the Evaluation of the Minimally Abnormal Papanicolaou Smear - Article

ABSTRACT: Minor cytologic abnormalities of the cervix, such as atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASCUS), are vastly more common than high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions or invasive cancer. Current guidelines for the management of ASCUS include repeating the Papanicolaou (Pap) smear at specific intervals, referring all patients for colposcopy or using an adjunctive test such as hybrid capture human papillomavirus (HPV) testing or cervicography. The usefulness of the Pap smear is limited by its considerable false-negative rate and its dependence on clinician and laboratory performance. Colposcopy is a highly sensitive procedure, but many patients with ASCUS have normal colposcopic findings. The hybrid capture test not only measures quantitative HPV load but also detects both oncogenic and nononcogenic HPV types, thereby increasing the probability that serious cervical disease is not missed. Hybrid capture sampling is simple to perform, and positive results are strongly associated with cervical dysplasia. HPV testing in women with ASCUS can be used as an adjunctive test to identify those with HPV-associated disease; it can also serve as a quality assurance measure. Together, repeat Pap smears and HPV testing should identify most patients with underlying cervical dysplasia. Combined testing may also minimize the number of unnecessary colposcopic examinations in women who have no disease.

Cervical Cancer - Article

ABSTRACT: Cervical cancer is the second most common type of cancer in women worldwide, after breast cancer. A preponderance of evidence supports a causal link between human papillomavirus infection and cervical neoplasia. The presence of high-risk human papillomavirus genital subtypes increases the risk of malignant transformation. Widespread use of the Papanicolaou smear has dramatically reduced the incidence of cervical cancer in developed countries. Accurate and early recognition of abnormal cytologic changes prevents progression of the disease from preinvasive to invasive. Research is under way to determine if efforts to reduce the false-negative rate of the Papanicolaou smear should include rescreening programs and fluid-based technology. Once cervical cancer is diagnosed, clinical staging takes place. Early-stage tumors can be managed with cone biopsy or simple hysterectomy. Higher stage tumors can be treated surgically or with radiotherapy. Advanced metastatic disease may respond to radiation therapy and concurrent chemotherapy. Protein markers for detection of recurrence and vaccines for prevention of cervical cancer are under investigation.

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