Objective: To make the clinical evaluation of a solid-state human papillomavirus (HPV) sampling medium in combination with an economical HPV testing method (careHPVTM) for cervical cancer screening.
Methods: 396 women aged 25-65 years were enrolled for cervical cancer screening, and four samples were collected. Two samples were collected by woman themselves, among which one was stored in DCM preservative solution (called “liquid sample”) and the other was applied on the Whatman Indicating FTA Elute® card (FTA card). Another two samples were collected by physician and stored in DCM preservative solution and FTA card, respectively. All the samples were detected by careHPVTM test. All the women were administered a colposcopy examination, and biopsies were taken for pathological confirmation if necessary.
Results: FTA card demonstrated a comparable sensitivity of detecting high grade Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia (CIN) with the liquid sample carrier for self and physician-sampling, but showed a higher specificity than that of liquid sample carrier for self-sampling (FTA vs Liquid: 79.0% vs 71.6%, p=0.02). Generally, the FTA card had a comparable accuracy with that of Liquid-based medium by different sampling operators, with an area under the curve of 0.807 for physician&FTA, 0.781 for physician &Liquid, 0.728 for self & FTA, and 0.733 for self &Liquid (p>0.05).
Conclusions: FTA card is a promising sample carrier for cervical cancer screening. With appropriate education programmes and further optimization of the experimental workflow, FTA card based self-collection in combination withcentralized careHPVTM testing can help expand the coverage of cervical cancer screening in low-resource areas.