Use of p16-INK4A overexpression to increase the specificity of human papillomavirus testing: a nested substudy of the NTCC randomised controlled trial

Francesca Carozzi, Massimo Confortini, Paolo Dalla Palma, Annarosa Del Mistro, Anna Gillio-Tos, Laura De Marco, Paolo Giorgi-Rossi, Giovanni Pontenani, Stefano Rosso, Cristina Sani, Catia Sintoni, Nereo Segnan, Manuel Zorzi, Jack Cuzick, Raffaella Rizzolo, Guglielmo Ronco
Lancet Oncology 2008, 9 (10): 937-45

BACKGROUND: Human-papillomavirus (HPV) testing is more sensitive, but less specific, than conventional cytology for detecting high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN). We assessed whether HPV testing with triage by p16-INK4A overexpression can increase specificity while maintaining sensitivity.

METHODS: HPV-positive women were enrolled between June 10, 2003, and Dec 31, 2004 in a multicentre randomised controlled trial, which compared stand-alone HPV testing by Hybrid Capture 2 (experimental group) with conventional cytology, were referred for colposcopy. In seven of nine centres, cytospin preparations from these women were tested for p16-INK4A overexpression by immunostaining. The sensitivity and specificity for CIN grade 2 or more, determined at blind review of histology, were calculated for these women. We also estimated the relative sensitivity and relative referral to colposcopy that would have been obtained by HPV testing with p16-INK4A triage compared with conventional cytology. This trial is registered as a Standard Randomised Controlled Trial, number ISRCTN81678807.

FINDINGS: 24 661 women were randomly assigned to the experimental group. 1137 women (74% of those undergoing colposcopy in relevant centres), including 50 with CIN2 and 42 with CIN3 or cancer, had valid p16-INK4A immunostaining. For the endpoint of CIN2+, sensitivity and specificity of p16-INK4A (deemed positive with any number of stained cells-except endocervical, metaplastic, and atrophic cells if morphologically normal) in HPV-positive women of any age were 88% (81 of 92; 95% CI 80-94) and 61% (633 of 1045; 57-64), respectively. In the 35-60-year age group, the relative sensitivity of HPV testing and p16-INK4A triage versus conventional cytology for CIN2+ was 1.53 (95% CI 1.15-2.02) and relative referral was 1.08 (0.96-1.21). In the 25-34-year age group, relative sensitivity was 3.01 (1.82-5.17) and relative referral was 1.15 (0.96-1.37). In the latter age group, when 5% or more stained cells were deemed positive, the corresponding values were 2.06 (1.20-3.68) and 0.58 (0.46-0.73), respectively.

INTERPRETATION: HPV testing with p16-INK4A triage produces a significant increase in sensitivity compared with conventional cytology, with no substantial increase in referral to colposcopy.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"