July 10, 2023
Ancestral forms of one type of human papillomavirus (HPV) have most likely infected all human populations since Homo erectus.1 Today, 80% of people in the U.S. get HPV by age 45, with 13,290 cases expected to manifest into cervical cancer in 2023.2
Fortunately for women in the 20th century, the diagnostic Pap smear test was created, which helped greatly reduce these numbers. The Pap smear can detect potentially precancerous and cancerous processes in the cervix.
While Pap cytology has served women well over the decades, technology has evolved. In the last decade, advances have been made in HPV testing that allow OB-GYNs to know whether their patients have an HPV genotype that places them at higher risk of cervical cancer.
More recently, a new technology called dual stain has been available to determine if a patient’s HPV is transforming into pre-cancer. When detected at an early stage, the five-year survival rate for women with invasive cervical cancer is 92%.3 The only commercially available dual-stain product is the CINtec PLUS® Cytology dual-stain biomarker triage test approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2020.
Rebecca Khan, M.D., a practicing OB-GYN, who has helped implement dual stain in a large reference laboratory that processed 1.5 million Pap cytology tests annually, provided some answers to questions about dual-stain triage.