HPV Testing Provides Precise, Accurate Detection of Cervical Cancer

Mark Martens, M.D.
Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Jersey Shore University Medical Center

The American Cancer Society predicts that this year in the United States, more than 12,100 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer, and roughly 4,220 women will die of the disease.

When treated early, however, the chances of effectively treating and curing cervical cancer increase dramatically, and newer Pap tests and HPV screening more accurately identify pre-cancerous cellular changes that potentially develop into cervical cancer.

“After decades of women going to their doctor for annual Pap tests, the FDA, in a historic decision in April 2014, approved HPV testing as a replacement for the Pap test," says Mark Martens, M.D., Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Jersey Shore University Medical Center.

Martens is now leading a clinical research trial at Jersey Shore to further advance the accuracy and precision of cervical cancer detection in women. The test includes a free Pap test and HPV screening.

Compared to a conventional Pap tests, the newer FDA approved process of HPV testing for cervical cancer has increased detection of a significant pre-cancerous condition by more than 64%.

"Because of this new option for patients, more tests are now being developed to further expand the options for women," Martens says.

HPV is present in more than 99% of women who develop cervical cancer, and newer, DNA-based technology has also proven to be up to 40% more accurate than traditional Pap tests.  

Martens says he is excited to be a part of this "new, more accurate, more sensitive, and more comfortable method to prevent cancer in women."

"It’s a groundbreaking development that provides women in our community with access to the best cervical health screening available today,” Dr. Martens adds. "By making the cervical cells easier to see, the new liquid-based Pap test produces better results for screening and detecting cervical cancer and its precursors."

In order to be eligible for the trial, women must be at least 21 years of age or older and have not had a Pap test in the past four months or a hysterectomy. Women who participate will receive study related medical care at no charge, and will be compensated for study related procedures.

To learn more about the study, please contact Meridian Health Research Services at Jersey Shore University Medical Center at 732-776-2953.