Study Co-authored by ASCP’s Dr. Philip Castle Recognized by Clinical Care Advances 2011
Monday, December 12, 2011
The results of a large study following more than 300,000 women at Kaiser Permanente Northern California for five years shows that in most cases cervical cancer screening can be safely extended to at least three years. Co-authored by the ASCP’s Philip E. Castle, PhD, MPH, the study, “Cervical cancer risk for 330,000 women undergoing concurrent HPV testing and cervical cytology in routine clinical practice,” was published in the Clinical Care Advances 2011, an annual report that distinguishes cancer research that has the greatest impact on patient’s lives.
Clinical Care Advances, published by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), identifies just 54 significant studies for inclusion in the report designed to fill the gap in cancer literature. Released in the Journal of Clinical Oncology on Dec. 5, Clinical Care Advances documents the progress in cancer research and emerging trends in the field.
“The study was the first real-world analysis of adding HPV testing into general screening—a huge undertaking,” Castle said. Most women receive annual or biannual Pap tests alone. However, the study revealed that the five-year cancer risk for women who had both normal Pap test results and also negative HPV results was very low: 3.2 per 100,000 per year, which means women can safely reduce the number of office visits from once a year to once every three years or even five years with very little risk.
Castle notes that many doctors still encourage women to come back annually even with negative test results, which “wastes millions of dollars in healthcare costs and results in overscreening and possibly unnecessary treatment.”
Castle said the inclusion of the study, which he completed with a team at the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health, was hugely important because “ASCO is one of the premier professional medical societies in the world and their recognition of this work will disseminate the findings to oncologists.”