Publications by authors named "Clare Gilham"

30 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Vitamin D supplementation to prevent acute respiratory infections: a systematic review and meta-analysis of aggregate data from randomised controlled trials.

Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol 2021 05 30;9(5):276-292. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

Jikei University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.

Background: A 2017 meta-analysis of data from 25 randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of vitamin D supplementation for the prevention of acute respiratory infections (ARIs) revealed a protective effect of this intervention. We aimed to examine the link between vitamin D supplementation and prevention of ARIs in an updated meta-analysis.

Methods: For this systematic review and meta-analysis, we searched MEDLINE, Embase, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Web of Science, and the ClinicalTrials.gov registry for studies listed from database inception to May 1, 2020. Double-blind RCTs of vitamin D, vitamin D, or 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) supplementation for any duration, with a placebo or low-dose vitamin D control, were eligible if they had been approved by a research ethics committee, and if ARI incidence was collected prospectively and prespecified as an efficacy outcome. Studies reporting results of long-term follow-up of primary RCTs were excluded. Aggregated study-level data, stratified by baseline 25(OH)D concentration and age, were obtained from study authors. Using the proportion of participants in each trial who had one or more ARIs, we did a random-effects meta-analysis to obtain pooled odds ratios (ORs) and 95% CIs to estimate the effect of vitamin D supplementation on the risk of having one or more ARIs (primary outcome) compared with placebo. Subgroup analyses were done to estimate whether the effects of vitamin D supplementation on the risk of ARI varied according to baseline 25(OH)D concentration (<25 nmol/L vs 25·0-49·9 nmol/L vs 50·0-74·9 nmol/L vs >75·0 nmol/L), vitamin D dose (daily equivalent of <400 international units [IU] vs 400-1000 IU vs 1001-2000 IU vs >2000 IU), dosing frequency (daily vs weekly vs once per month to once every 3 months), trial duration (≤12 months vs >12 months), age at enrolment (<1·00 years vs 1·00-15·99 years vs 16·00-64·99 years vs ≥65·00 years), and presence versus absence of airway disease (ie, asthma only, COPD only, or unrestricted). Risk of bias was assessed with the Cochrane Collaboration Risk of Bias Tool. The study was registered with PROSPERO, CRD42020190633.

Findings: We identified 1528 articles, of which 46 RCTs (75 541 participants) were eligible. Data for the primary outcome were obtained for 48 488 (98·1%) of 49 419 participants (aged 0-95 years) in 43 studies. A significantly lower proportion of participants in the vitamin D supplementation group had one or more ARIs (14 332 [61·3%] of 23 364 participants) than in the placebo group (14 217 [62·3%] of 22 802 participants), with an OR of 0·92 (95% CI 0·86-0·99; 37 studies; I=35·6%, p=0·018). No significant effect of vitamin D supplementation on the risk of having one or more ARIs was observed for any of the subgroups defined by baseline 25(OH)D concentration. However, protective effects of supplementation were observed in trials in which vitamin D was given in a daily dosing regimen (OR 0·78 [95% CI 0·65-0·94]; 19 studies; I=53·5%, p=0·003), at daily dose equivalents of 400-1000 IU (0·70 [0·55-0·89]; ten studies; I=31·2%, p=0·16), for a duration of 12 months or less (0·82 [0·72-0·93]; 29 studies; I=38·1%, p=0·021), and to participants aged 1·00-15·99 years at enrolment (0·71 [0·57-0·90]; 15 studies; I=46·0%, p=0·027). No significant interaction between allocation to the vitamin D supplementation group versus the placebo group and dose, dose frequency, study duration, or age was observed. In addition, no significant difference in the proportion of participants who had at least one serious adverse event in the vitamin supplementation group compared with the placebo group was observed (0·97 [0·86-1·07]; 36 studies; I=0·0%, p=0·99). Risk of bias within individual studies was assessed as being low for all but three trials.

Interpretation: Despite evidence of significant heterogeneity across trials, vitamin D supplementation was safe and overall reduced the risk of ARI compared with placebo, although the risk reduction was small. Protection was associated with administration of daily doses of 400-1000 IU for up to 12 months, and age at enrolment of 1·00-15·99 years. The relevance of these findings to COVID-19 is not known and requires further investigation.

Funding: None.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2213-8587(21)00051-6DOI Listing
May 2021

Costs and cost-effectiveness of cervical cancer screening strategies in women living with HIV in Burkina Faso: The HPV in Africa Research Partnership (HARP) study.

PLoS One 2021 25;16(3):e0248832. Epub 2021 Mar 25.

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom.

Introduction: This study estimated the costs and incremental cost per case detected of screening strategies for high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN2+) in women living with HIV (WLHIV) attending HIV clinics in Burkina Faso.

Methods: The direct healthcare provider costs of screening tests (visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA), VIA combined visual inspection with Lugol's iodine (VIA/VILI), cytology and a rapid HPV DNA test (careHPV)) and confirmatory tests (colposcopy, directed biopsy and systematic four-quadrant (4Q) biopsy) were collected alongside the HPV in Africa Research Partnership (HARP) study. A model was developed for a hypothetical cohort of 1000 WLHIV using data on CIN2+ prevalence and the sensitivity of the screening tests. Costs are reported in USD (2019).

Results: The study enrolled 554 WLHIV with median age 36 years (inter-quartile range, 31-41) and CIN2+ prevalence of 5.8%. The average cost per screening test ranged from US$3.2 for VIA to US$24.8 for cytology. Compared to VIA alone, the incremental cost per CIN2+ case detected was US$48 for VIA/VILI and US$814 for careHPV. Despite higher costs, careHPV was more sensitive for CIN2+ cases detected compared to VIA/VILI (97% and 56%, respectively). The cost of colposcopy was US$6.6 per person while directed biopsy was US$33.0 and 4Q biopsy was US$48.0.

Conclusion: Depending on the willingness to pay for the detection of a case of cervical cancer, decision makers in Burkina Faso can consider a variety of cervical cancer screening strategies for WLHIV. While careHPV is more costly, it has the potential to be cost-effective depending on the willingness to pay threshold. Future research should explore the lifetime costs and benefits of cervical cancer screening to enable comparisons with interventions for other diseases.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0248832PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7993811PMC
March 2021

Diagnostic accuracy of cervical cancer screening and screening-triage strategies among women living with HIV-1 in Burkina Faso and South Africa: A cohort study.

PLoS Med 2021 03 4;18(3):e1003528. Epub 2021 Mar 4.

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom.

Background: Cervical cancer screening strategies using visual inspection or cytology may have suboptimal diagnostic accuracy for detection of precancer in women living with HIV (WLHIV). The optimal screen and screen-triage strategy, age to initiate, and frequency of screening for WLHIV remain unclear. This study evaluated the sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value of different cervical cancer strategies in WLHIV in Africa.

Methods And Findings: WLHIV aged 25-50 years attending HIV treatment centres in Burkina Faso (BF) and South Africa (SA) from 5 December 2011 to 30 October 2012 were enrolled in a prospective evaluation study of visual inspection using acetic acid (VIA) or visual inspection using Lugol's iodine (VILI), high-risk human papillomavirus DNA test (Hybrid Capture 2 [HC2] or careHPV), and cytology for histology-verified high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN2+/CIN3+) at baseline and endline, a median 16 months later. Among 1,238 women (BF: 615; SA: 623), median age was 36 and 34 years (p < 0.001), 28.6% and 49.6% ever had prior cervical cancer screening (p < 0.001), and 69.9% and 64.2% were taking ART at enrolment (p = 0.045) in BF and SA, respectively. CIN2+ prevalence was 5.8% and 22.4% in BF and SA (p < 0.001), respectively. VIA had low sensitivity for CIN2+ (44.7%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 36.9%-52.7%) and CIN3+ (56.1%, 95% CI 43.3%-68.3%) in both countries, with specificity for ≤CIN1 of 78.7% (95% CI 76.0%-81.3%). HC2 had sensitivity of 88.8% (95% CI 82.9%-93.2%) for CIN2+ and 86.4% (95% CI 75.7%-93.6%) for CIN3+. Specificity for ≤CIN1 was 55.4% (95% CI 52.2%-58.6%), and screen positivity was 51.3%. Specificity was higher with a restricted genotype (HPV16/18/31/33/35/45/52/58) approach (73.5%, 95% CI 70.6%-76.2%), with lower screen positivity (33.7%), although there was lower sensitivity for CIN3+ (77.3%, 95% CI 65.3%-86.7%). In BF, HC2 was more sensitive for CIN2+/CIN3+ compared to VIA/VILI (relative sensitivity for CIN2+ = 1.72, 95% CI 1.28-2.32; CIN3+: 1.18, 95% CI 0.94-1.49). Triage of HC2-positive women with VIA/VILI reduced the number of colposcopy referrals, but with loss in sensitivity for CIN2+ (58.1%) but not for CIN3+ (84.6%). In SA, cytology high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion or greater (HSIL+) had best combination of sensitivity (CIN2+: 70.1%, 95% CI 61.3%-77.9%; CIN3+: 80.8%, 95% CI 67.5%-90.4%) and specificity (81.6%, 95% CI 77.6%-85.1%). HC2 had similar sensitivity for CIN3+ (83.0%, 95% CI 70.2%-91.9%) but lower specificity compared to HSIL+ (42.7%, 95% CI 38.4%-47.1%; relative specificity = 0.57, 95% CI 0.52-0.63), resulting in almost twice as many referrals. Compared to HC2, triage of HC2-positive women with HSIL+ resulted in a 40% reduction in colposcopy referrals but was associated with some loss in sensitivity. CIN2+ incidence over a median 16 months was highest among VIA baseline screen-negative women (2.2%, 95% CI 1.3%-3.7%) and women who were baseline double-negative with HC2 and VIA (2.1%, 95% CI 1.3%-3.5%) and lowest among HC2 baseline screen-negative women (0.5%, 95% CI 0.1%-1.8%). Limitations of our study are that WLHIV included in the study may not reflect a contemporary cohort of WLHIV initiating ART in the universal ART era and that we did not evaluate HPV tests available in study settings today.

Conclusions: In this cohort study among WLHIV in Africa, a human papillomavirus (HPV) test targeting 14 high-risk (HR) types had higher sensitivity to detect CIN2+ compared to visual inspection but had low specificity, although a restricted genotype approach targeting 8 HR types decreased the number of unnecessary colposcopy referrals. Cytology HSIL+ had optimal performance for CIN2+/CIN3+ detection in SA. Triage of HPV-positive women with HSIL+ maintained high specificity but with some loss in sensitivity compared to HC2 alone.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1003528DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7971880PMC
March 2021

Cervical cancer screening in older women.

BMJ 2021 02 5;372:n280. Epub 2021 Feb 5.

Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n280DOI Listing
February 2021

CYP3A7*1C allele: linking premenopausal oestrone and progesterone levels with risk of hormone receptor-positive breast cancers.

Br J Cancer 2021 02 26;124(4):842-854. Epub 2021 Jan 26.

Molecular Epidemiology Group, C080, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany.

Background: Epidemiological studies provide strong evidence for a role of endogenous sex hormones in the aetiology of breast cancer. The aim of this analysis was to identify genetic variants that are associated with urinary sex-hormone levels and breast cancer risk.

Methods: We carried out a genome-wide association study of urinary oestrone-3-glucuronide and pregnanediol-3-glucuronide levels in 560 premenopausal women, with additional analysis of progesterone levels in 298 premenopausal women. To test for the association with breast cancer risk, we carried out follow-up genotyping in 90,916 cases and 89,893 controls from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium. All women were of European ancestry.

Results: For pregnanediol-3-glucuronide, there were no genome-wide significant associations; for oestrone-3-glucuronide, we identified a single peak mapping to the CYP3A locus, annotated by rs45446698. The minor rs45446698-C allele was associated with lower oestrone-3-glucuronide (-49.2%, 95% CI -56.1% to -41.1%, P = 3.1 × 10); in follow-up analyses, rs45446698-C was also associated with lower progesterone (-26.7%, 95% CI -39.4% to -11.6%, P = 0.001) and reduced risk of oestrogen and progesterone receptor-positive breast cancer (OR = 0.86, 95% CI 0.82-0.91, P = 6.9 × 10).

Conclusions: The CYP3A7*1C allele is associated with reduced risk of hormone receptor-positive breast cancer possibly mediated via an effect on the metabolism of endogenous sex hormones in premenopausal women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41416-020-01185-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7884683PMC
February 2021

Vitamin D supplementation to prevent acute respiratory infections: systematic review and meta-analysis of aggregate data from randomised controlled trials.

medRxiv 2020 Nov 25. Epub 2020 Nov 25.

Population Health Department, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Queensland, Australia.

Background: A 2017 meta-analysis of data from 25 randomised controlled trials of vitamin D supplementation for the prevention of acute respiratory infections revealed a protective effect of the intervention. Since then, 20 new RCTs have been completed.

Methods: Systematic review and meta-analysis of data from randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of vitamin D for ARI prevention using a random effects model. Pre-specified sub-group analyses were done to determine whether effects of vitamin D on risk of ARI varied according to baseline 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) concentration or dosing regimen. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), Web of Science and the ClinicalTrials.gov registry from inception to 1st May 2020. Double-blind RCTs of supplementation with vitamin D or calcidiol, of any duration, were eligible if they were approved by a Research Ethics Committee and if ARI incidence was collected prospectively and pre-specified as an efficacy outcome. Aggregate data, stratified by baseline 25(OH)D concentration, were obtained from study authors. The study was registered with PROSPERO (no. CRD42020190633).

Findings: We identified 45 eligible RCTs (total 73,384 participants). Data were obtained for 46,331 (98.0%) of 47,262 participants in 42 studies, aged 0 to 95 years. For the primary comparison of vitamin D supplementation vs. placebo, the intervention reduced risk of ARI overall (Odds Ratio [OR] 0.91, 95% CI 0.84 to 0.99; P for heterogeneity 0.01). No statistically significant effect of vitamin D was seen for any of the sub-groups defined by baseline 25(OH)D concentration. However, protective effects were seen for trials in which vitamin D was given using a daily dosing regimen (OR 0.75, 95% CI 0.61 to 0.93); at daily dose equivalents of 400-1000 IU (OR 0.70, 95% CI 0.55 to 0.89); and for a duration of ≤12 months (OR 0.82, 95% CI 0.72 to 0.93). No significant interaction was seen between allocation to vitamin D vs. placebo and dose frequency, dose size, or study duration. Vitamin D did not influence the proportion of participants experiencing at least one serious adverse event (OR 0.97, 95% CI 0.86 to 1.09). Risk of bias within individual studies was assessed as being low for all but three trials. A funnel plot showed left-sided asymmetry (P=0.008, Egger's test).

Interpretation: Vitamin D supplementation was safe and reduced risk of ARI, despite evidence of significant heterogeneity across trials. Protection was associated with administration of daily doses of 400-1000 IU vitamin D for up to 12 months. The relevance of these findings to COVID-19 is not known and requires investigation.

Funding: None.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2020.07.14.20152728DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7709175PMC
November 2020

Cohabitation, infection and breast cancer risk.

Int J Cancer 2021 03 26;148(6):1408-1418. Epub 2020 Oct 26.

Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK.

For 50 years, the effect of age at first birth (AFB) has been thought to explain the strong association between breast cancer risk and age at first marriage (AFM), which was first reported in 1926. The independent effects of AFM, AFB and number of sexual partners adjusted for parity and other risk factors were estimated in reanalysis of a large international case-control study conducted in 1979 to 1982 (2274 breast cancers, 18209 controls) by unconditional logistic regression. Respective AFB and AFM breast cancer odds ratios (ORs) for ≥31 years relative to ≤18 years were 3.01 (95% CI 2.44-3.71; P(trend) < .0001) and 3.24 (95% CI 2.62-4.01; P(trend) < .0001) in univariate analyses. Among married parous women, these ORs fell to 1.38 (95% CI 0.98-1.95; P(trend) < .03) for AFB and 1.70 (95% CI 1.17-2.46; P(trend) < .002) for AFM when fitted together in multivariate analysis including other risk factors. A similar adjusted OR for AFM ≥ 31 years relative to ≤18 years was seen among married nulliparous women (OR 1.71, 95% CI 0.98-2.98; P(trend) < .001). AFM (a surrogate for age at starting prolonged cohabitation) is thus strongly associated with breast cancer risk. This suggests an effect of close contact. Identifying the (probably infective) mechanism might lead to effective prevention of breast cancer. The independent effect of AFB is smaller and could be due to residual confounding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33319DOI Listing
March 2021

Performance of the Swede score to predict cervical intraepithelial neoplasia in women with HIV-1 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Int J Gynaecol Obstet 2021 Feb 22;152(2):188-195. Epub 2020 Oct 22.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Objective: To evaluate the performance of the Swede score to detect cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) in women with HIV-1 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Methods: A cross-sectional study using secondary data analysis from the HPV in Africa Research Partnership (HARP) study that compared the performance of three different screening tests to detect CIN. Colposcopy was performed on any woman who screened positive and findings were recorded using the Swede score. A biopsy of any lesion and a four-quadrant biopsy was taken. The score was evaluated against a histological diagnosis of >CIN1. The sensistivity, specificity, PPV and NPV for each score was calculated.

Results: Median age and CD4+ count of the 576 women eligible from the Johannesburg cohort was 34 years (IQR, 30-39) and 427 cells/mm (IQR, 323-579), respectively. Almost two-thirds (64%) were on ART and about 21% had CIN 2+ on histology. A Swede score of 5 or greater had the best combination of sensitivity and specificity for CIN 2+ with an AUC of 0.72 (95% CI, 0.68-0.76) corresponding to a sensitivity of 72.1 (95% CI, 63.5-79.6) and specificity of 71.8 (95% CI, 67.4-75.9).

Conclusion: The Swede score can assist in determining whether women with HIV/AIDS should have treatment at the first colposcopy visit versus those who may be followed up, thereby individualizing treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijgo.13392DOI Listing
February 2021

High-dose oral vitamin D supplementation and mortality in people aged 65-84 years: the VIDAL cluster feasibility RCT of open versus double-blind individual randomisation.

Health Technol Assess 2020 02;24(10):1-54

Department of Non-communicable Disease Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK.

Background: Randomised controlled trials demonstrating improved longevity are needed to justify high-dose vitamin D supplementation for older populations.

Objectives: To demonstrate the feasibility of a large trial ( ≈ 20,000) of high-dose vitamin D in people aged 65-84 years through general practitioner (GP) practices, and to cluster randomise participating practices between open-label and double-blind randomisation to compare effects on recruitment, compliance and contamination.

Design: Twenty GP practices were randomised in matched pairs between open-label and double-blind allocation. Within each practice, patients were individually randomised to vitamin D or control (i.e. no treatment or placebo). Participants were invited to attend their GP practice to provide a blood sample and complete a lifestyle questionnaire at recruitment and again at 2 years. Randomisation by telephone followed receipt of a serum corrected calcium assay confirming eligibility (< 2.65 nmol/l). Treatment compliance was reported by quarterly follow-up forms sent and returned by e-mail or post (participant choice). GP visits and infections were abstracted from GP records. Hospital attendances, cancer diagnoses and deaths were ascertained by linkage to Hospital Episode Statistics and national registration through NHS Digital.

Setting: GP practices in England.

Participants: Recruitment opened in October 2013 and closed in January 2015. A total of 1615 registered patients aged 65-84 years were randomised: 407 to vitamin D and 421 to no treatment in open practices; 395 to vitamin D and 392 to placebo in blind practices.

Interventions: There was a 24-month treatment period: 12 monthly doses (100,000 IU of vitamin D or placebo as 5 ml oily solution) were posted after randomisation and at 1 year (100,000 IU per month corresponds to 3300 IU per day). Reminders were sent monthly by e-mail, text message or post.

Main Outcome Measures: Recruitment, compliance, contamination and change in circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] from baseline to 2 years.

Results: Participation rates (randomised/invited) were 15.0% in open practices and 13.4% in double-blind practices ( = 0.7). The proportion still taking study medication at 2 years was 91.2% in open practices and 89.2% in double-blind practices ( = 0.4). The proportion of control participants taking > 400 IU vitamin D per day at 2 years was 5.0% in open practices and 4.8% in double-blind practices. Mean serum 25(OH)D concentration was 51.5 nmol/l [95% confidence interval (CI) 50.2 to 52.8 nmol/l] with 82.6% of participants < 75 nmol/l at baseline. At 2 years, this increased to 109.6 nmol/l (95% CI 107.1 to 112.1 nmol/l) with 12.0% < 75 nmol/l in those allocated to vitamin D and was unaltered at 51.8 nmol/l (95% CI 49.8 to 53.8 nmol/l) in those allocated to no vitamin D (no treatment or placebo).

Conclusions: A trial could recruit 20,000 participants aged 65-84 years through 200 GP practices over 2 years. Approximately 80% would be expected to adhere to allocated treatment (vitamin D or placebo) for 5 years. The trial could be conducted entirely by e-mail in participants aged < 80 years, but some participants aged 80-84 years would require postal follow-up. Recruitment and treatment compliance would be similar and contamination (self-administration of vitamin D) would be minimal, whether control participants are randomised openly to no treatment with no contact during the trial or randomised double-blind to placebo with monthly reminders.

Trial Registration: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN46328341 and EudraCT database 2011-003699-34.

Funding: This project was funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment programme and will be published in full in ; Vol. 24, No. 10. See the NIHR Journals Library website for further project information.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3310/hta24100DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7061272PMC
February 2020

HPV testing compared with routine cytology in cervical screening: long-term follow-up of ARTISTIC RCT.

Health Technol Assess 2019 06;23(28):1-44

Non-Communicable Disease Epidemiology Unit, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK.

Background: The National Screening Committee (NSC) based its recommendation that human papillomavirus (HPV) testing should replace cytology in primary cervical screening largely on the 2009 follow-up results of the ARTISTIC trial (A Randomised Trial In Screening To Improve Cytology). The NSC must now decide on screening intervals and triage policy. Options include extending the screening interval up to 10 years for human papillomavirus-negative (HPV-) women, delaying recall for human papillomavirus-positive (HPV+) women with normal cytology (as their infections are usually transient), and basing triage on full HPV typing.

Methods: In ARTISTIC, 24,510 women were recruited who were attending routine cervical cytology in Greater Manchester in 2001-3. The women were randomly allocated between revealing and concealing their HPV test results and were recalled every 3 years. After 2009, the women returned to routine cytological screening with recall every 3 years for those aged < 50 years, and every 5 years for those aged 50-64 years. We have followed the cohort to 2015 through national cancer registration for CIN3 (cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 3) and cancer, and through linkage to the cervical screening call-recall system to obtain lifetime cytology records.

Results: The analysis comprised 24,496 women at round 1 and 13,591 women at round 2 (which was 30-48 months later). Follow-up via local histology laboratories and national cancer registration identified 505 cases of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 3 or cervical cancer (CIN3+) (including 22 invasive cervical cancers). The cumulative CIN3+ risk 10 years after a negative HPV test [0.31%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.18% to 0.49%, in the revealed arm] was similar to that 3 years after negative cytology (0.30%, 95% CI 0.23% to 0.41%, in the concealed arm) and fell sharply with age, from 1.1% (95% CI 0.7% to 1.8%) in those women aged < 25 years to 0.08% (95% CI 0.03% to 0.20%) in those women aged > 50 years. The 10-year cumulative CIN3+ risk following a new HPV infection at round 2 was 3.4% (95% CI 2.1% to 5.4%). The highest risks were associated with type-specific persistent infections that, overall, resulted in a 10-year cumulative CIN3+ risk of 20.4% (95% CI 15.6% to 26.4%).

Conclusions: We found a similar level of protection 10 years after a negative HPV test and 3 years after negative cytology. These data support a considerably longer screening interval after a negative HPV test than after a negative cytology test. About three-quarters of women with HPV infection and normal cytology clear their infections within about 3 years. Their risk of CIN3+ within this time frame is low (1.5%), suggesting that the current policy of annual repeat testing and referral after 2 years may be unnecessarily cautious. Approximately 40% of women who remained HPV+ had cleared their initial infection and acquired a new HPV type. The cumulative CIN3+ risks in women with type-specific persistent infections are about six times higher than in women with new infections. Triage strategies based on HPV persistence would, therefore, reduce unnecessary referral of women with new (and largely transient) infections. HPV assays that identify HPV types 31, 33, 45, 52 and 58 in addition to 16 and 18 could be useful in triage as well as in primary HPV testing. Similar results in recent routine HPV screening suggest that our results are generalisable despite changes in cytology and HPV assay methods. We are continuing to follow the ARTISTIC cohort into the new era of primary HPV screening. Future work will focus on the implications of more sensitive HPV testing for primary HPV screening policy and triage of HPV-positive women. Our results suggest that a more sensitive test is needed to detect occult CIN3 at high risk of progression to cancer, but this would substantially increase the overall HPV detection rate. Tests such as DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) methylation for distinguishing HPV infection from neoplasia will be evaluated on stored samples and on further samples now being collected from women in the cohort who are still being screened.

Funding: This project was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment programme and will be published in full in ; Vol. 23, No. 28. See the NIHR Journals Library website for further project information.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3310/hta23280DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6600121PMC
June 2019

Past and current asbestos exposure and future mesothelioma risks in Britain: The Inhaled Particles Study (TIPS).

Int J Epidemiol 2018 12;47(6):1745-1756

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK.

Background: Occupational and environmental airborne asbestos concentrations are too low and variable for lifetime exposures to be estimated reliably, and building workers and occupants may suffer higher exposure when asbestos in older buildings is disturbed or removed. Mesothelioma risks from current asbestos exposures are therefore not known.

Methods: We interviewed and measured asbestos levels in lung samples from 257 patients treated for pneumothorax and 262 with resected lung cancer, recruited in England and Wales. Average lung burdens in British birth cohorts from 1940 to 1992 were estimated for asbestos-exposed workers and the general population.

Results: Regression analysis of British mesothelioma death rates and average lung burdens in birth cohorts born before 1965 suggests a lifetime mesothelioma risk of approximately 0.01% per fibre/mg of amphiboles in the lung. In those born since 1965, the average lung burden is ∼1 fibre/mg among those with no occupational exposure.

Conclusions: The average lifetime mesothelioma risk caused by recent environmental asbestos exposure in Britain will be about 1 in 10 000. The risk is an order of magnitude higher in a subgroup of exposed workers and probably in occupants in the most contaminated buildings. Further data are needed to discover whether asbestos still present in buildings, particularly schools, is a persistent or decreasing hazard to workers who disturb it and to the general population, and whether environmental exposure occurs predominantly in childhood or after beginning work. Similar studies are needed in other countries to estimate continuing environmental and occupational mesothelioma hazards worldwide, including the contribution from chrysotile.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyx276DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6280925PMC
December 2018

Longer screening intervals are recommended following a negative HPV test in primary cervical screening.

Evid Based Med 2017 10 22;22(5):178. Epub 2017 Jul 22.

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health, London, UK.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/ebmed-2016-110625DOI Listing
October 2017

Associations of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) genotypes with high-grade cervical neoplasia (CIN2+) in a cohort of women living with HIV in Burkina Faso and South Africa.

PLoS One 2017 23;12(3):e0174117. Epub 2017 Mar 23.

Clinical Research Department, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom.

Objective: To describe associations of high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) with high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN2+) in women living with HIV (WLHIV) in Burkina Faso (BF) and South Africa (SA).

Methods: Prospective cohort of WLHIV attending HIV outpatient clinics and treatment centres. Recruitment was stratified by ART status. Cervical HPV genotyping using INNO-LiPA and histological assessment of 4-quadrant cervical biopsies at enrolment and 16 months later.

Results: Among women with CIN2+ at baseline, the prevalence of any HR-HPV genotypes included in the bi/quadrivalent (HPV16/18) or nonavalent (HPV16/18/31/35/45/52/58) HPV vaccines ranged from 37% to 90%. HPV58 was most strongly associated with CIN2+ (aOR = 5.40, 95%CI: 2.77-10.53). At 16-months follow-up, persistence of any HR-HPV was strongly associated with incident CIN2+ (aOR = 7.90, 95%CI: 3.11-20.07), as was persistence of HPV16/18 (aOR = 5.25, 95%CI: 2.14-12.91) and the additional HR types in the nonavalent vaccine (aOR = 3.23, 95%CI: 1.23-8.54).

Conclusion: HR-HPV persistence is very common among African WLHIV and is linked to incident CIN2+. HPV vaccines could prevent between 37-90% of CIN2+ among African WLHIV.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0174117PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5363860PMC
August 2017

CYP3A7*1C allele is associated with reduced levels of 2-hydroxylation pathway oestrogen metabolites.

Br J Cancer 2017 01 10;116(3):382-388. Epub 2017 Jan 10.

Breast Cancer Now Toby Robins Research Centre, The Institute of Cancer Research, 237 Fulham Road, London SW7 3RP, UK.

Background: Endogenous sex hormones are well-established risk factors for breast cancer; the contribution of specific oestrogen metabolites (EMs) and/or ratios of specific EMs is less clear. We have previously identified a CYP3A7*1C allele that is associated with lower urinary oestrone (E) levels in premenopausal women. The purpose of this analysis was to determine whether this allele was associated with specific pathway EMs.

Methods: We measured successfully 12 EMs in mid-follicular phase urine samples from 30 CYP3A7*1C carriers and 30 non-carriers using HPLC-MS/MS.

Results: In addition to having lower urinary E levels, CYP3A7*1C carriers had significantly lower levels of four of the 2-hydroxylation pathway EMs that we measured (2-hydroxyestrone, P=1.1 × 10; 2-hydroxyestradiol, P=2.7 × 10; 2-methoxyestrone, P=1.9 × 10; and 2-methoxyestradiol, P=0.0009). By contrast, 16α-hydroxylation pathway EMs were slightly higher in carriers and significantly so for 17-epiestriol (P=0.002).

Conclusions: The CYP3A7*1C allele is associated with a lower urinary E levels, a more pronounced reduction in 2-hydroxylation pathway EMs and a lower ratio of 2-hydroxylation:16α-hydroxylation EMs in premenopausal women. To further characterise the association between parent oestrogens, EMs and subsequent risk of breast cancer, characterisation of additional genetic variants that influence oestrogen metabolism and large prospective studies of a broad spectrum of EMs will be required.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/bjc.2016.432DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5294487PMC
January 2017

Epidemiology of high-risk human papillomavirus and cervical lesions in African women living with HIV/AIDS: effect of anti-retroviral therapy.

AIDS 2017 01;31(2):273-285

aLondon School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK bCentre de Recherche Internationale en Santé, University of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso cRHI, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa dINSERM U1058 and University Hospital (CHRU), Montpellier, France eNational Health Laboratory Services, Johannesburg, South Africa fMRC Tropical Epidemiology Group, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK.

Objective: To describe the effect of antiretroviral therapy (ART) and HIV-related factors on high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) and high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia lesions (CIN2+) among women living with HIV/AIDS (WLHA) in sub-Saharan Africa.

Design: Prospective cohort of WLHA in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (BF) and Johannesburg, South Africa (SA). Recruitment was stratified by ART status.

Methods: At baseline and endline (median 16 months), cervical samples, and biopsies were analyzed for HPV genotyping (InnoLiPA) and by histology. Logistic regression was used to estimate associations of ART and HIV-related factors with HR-HPV and CIN2+ outcomes, and all results presented are adjusted for baseline CD4 cell count.

Results: Among 1238 enrolled WLHA (BF = 615; SA = 623), HR-HPV prevalence was 59.1% in BF and 79.1% in SA. CIN2+ prevalence was 5.8% in BF and 22.5% in SA. Compared with long-duration ART users (>2 years), HR-HPV prevalence was higher among short-duration ART users [≤2 years; adjusted prevalence ratio (aPR) = 1.24, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.04-1.47] in BF, and CIN2+ prevalence was higher among short-duration ART users [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 1.99, 95% CI 1.12-3.54) and ART-naive participants (aOR = 1.87, 95% CI 1.11-3.17) in SA. Among 963 (77.8%) women seen at endline, HR-HPV persistence was 41.1% in BF and 30.2% in SA; CIN2+ incidence over 16-months was 1.2% in BF and 5.8% in SA. HR-HPV persistence was associated with being ART-naive in BF (aPR = 1.89, 95% CI 1.26-2.83), and with short-duration ART use (aPR = 1.78, 95% CI 1.11-2.86) and HIV-1 plasma viral load at least 1000 copies/ml (aPR = 2.87, 95% CI 1.63-5.05) in SA. CIN2+ incidence was reduced among women on ART in SA (aOR = 0.39, 95% CI 0.15-1.01).

Conclusion: Prolonged and effective ART is important in controlling HR-HPV and the development of CIN2+.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/QAD.0000000000001301DOI Listing
January 2017

Performance of careHPV for detecting high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia among women living with HIV-1 in Burkina Faso and South Africa: HARP study.

Br J Cancer 2016 08 19;115(4):425-30. Epub 2016 Jul 19.

Department of Clinical Research, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London WC1E 7HT, UK.

Background: The careHPV assay is a test for high-risk (HR) human papillomaviruses (HPV) detection designed to be affordable in resource-poor settings. We evaluated the performance of careHPV screening among 1052 women living with HIV/AIDS included in the HARP (HPV in Africa Research Partnership) study in Burkina Faso (BF) and South Africa (SA).

Methods: Cervical samples were tested for HR-HPV by the careHPV and the INNO-LiPA HPV genotyping Extra assays. All women had Pap smear testing, visual inspection with acetic acid/Lugol's iodine (VIA/VILI) and colposcopy. Cervical biopsies were obtained for participants who were HR-HPV DNA positive by careHPV or who had abnormalities detected on cytology, VIA/VILI or colposcopy.

Results: Overall, 45.1% of women had a positive careHPV test (46.5% in BF, 43.8% in SA). The careHPV positivity rate increased with the grade of cytological lesions. Sensitivity and specificity of careHPV for the diagnosis of CIN2+ (n=60, both countries combined) were 93.3% (95% confidence interval (CI): 83.8-98.2) and 57.9% (95% CI: 54.5-61.2), respectively. Specificity increased with CD4 count. careHPV had a similar clinical sensitivity but higher specificity than the INNO-LiPA assay for detection of CIN2+.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that careHPV testing is a reliable tool for cervical cancer screening in HIV-1-infected women in sub-Saharan Africa.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/bjc.2016.207DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4985351PMC
August 2016

Pleural mesothelioma and lung cancer risks in relation to occupational history and asbestos lung burden.

Occup Environ Med 2016 May 29;73(5):290-9. Epub 2015 Dec 29.

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK.

Background: We have conducted a population-based study of pleural mesothelioma patients with occupational histories and measured asbestos lung burdens in occupationally exposed workers and in the general population. The relationship between lung burden and risk, particularly at environmental exposure levels, will enable future mesothelioma rates in people born after 1965 who never installed asbestos to be predicted from their asbestos lung burdens.

Methods: Following personal interview asbestos fibres longer than 5 µm were counted by transmission electron microscopy in lung samples obtained from 133 patients with mesothelioma and 262 patients with lung cancer. ORs for mesothelioma were converted to lifetime risks.

Results: Lifetime mesothelioma risk is approximately 0.02% per 1000 amphibole fibres per gram of dry lung tissue over a more than 100-fold range, from 1 to 4 in the most heavily exposed building workers to less than 1 in 500 in most of the population. The asbestos fibres counted were amosite (75%), crocidolite (18%), other amphiboles (5%) and chrysotile (2%).

Conclusions: The approximate linearity of the dose-response together with lung burden measurements in younger people will provide reasonably reliable predictions of future mesothelioma rates in those born since 1965 whose risks cannot yet be seen in national rates. Burdens in those born more recently will indicate the continuing occupational and environmental hazards under current asbestos control regulations. Our results confirm the major contribution of amosite to UK mesothelioma incidence and the substantial contribution of non-occupational exposure, particularly in women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/oemed-2015-103074DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4853597PMC
May 2016

The PapilloCheck Assay for Detection of High-Grade Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia.

J Clin Microbiol 2015 Nov 2;53(11):3553-9. Epub 2015 Sep 2.

Institute of Cancer Sciences, University of Manchester, St. Mary's Hospital, Manchester, United Kingdom.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) testing is used in primary cervical screening, as an adjunct to cervical cytology for the management of low grade abnormal cytology, and in a test of cure. PapilloCheck (Greiner Bio-One) is a PCR-based DNA microarray system that can individually identify 24 HPV types, including the 13 high-risk (HR) types identified by Hybrid Capture 2 (HC2). Here, we compare PapilloCheck with HC2 for the detection of high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN2+) in a total of 8,610 cervical cytology samples from the ARTISTIC population-based cervical screening study. We performed a retrospective analysis of 3,518 cytology samples from round 1 ARTISTIC enriched for underlying CIN2+ (n = 723) and a prospective analysis of 5,092 samples from round 3 ARTISTIC. Discrepant results were tested using the Roche reverse line blot (RLB) or Linear Array (LA) assay. The relative sensitivity and specificity of HR PapilloCheck compared with that of HC2 for the detection of CIN2+ in women aged over 30 years were 0.94 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.91, 0.97) and 1.05 (95% CI, 1.04, 1.05), respectively. HC2 missed 44/672 (7%) CIN2+ lesions, while HR PapilloCheck missed 74/672 (11%) CIN2+ lesions. Thirty-six percent of HC2-positive normal cytology samples were HR HPV negative by both PapilloCheck and RLB/LA, indicating that the use of HR PapilloCheck rather than HC2 in population-based primary screening would reduce the number of additional tests required (e.g., reflex cytology) in women where underlying CIN2+ is extremely unlikely. HR PapilloCheck could be a suitable HPV detection assay for use in the cervical screening setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JCM.01578-15DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4609672PMC
November 2015

Comparison of analytical and clinical performances of the digene HC2 HPV DNA assay and the INNO-LiPA HPV genotyping assay for detecting high-risk HPV infection and cervical neoplasia among HIV-positive African women.

J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 2015 Feb;68(2):162-8

*INSERM U1058 and Department of Biology and Pathology, Montpellier University Hospital (CHU), Montpellier, France; †Departments of Clinical Research and Non Communicable Diseases Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom; ‡Department of Anatomical Pathology, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; §University Hospital and Centre of International Research for Health, University of Ouagadougou, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso; and ‖Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute, School of Clinical Medicine, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Objectives: To compare the Hybrid Capture 2 human papillomaviruses (HPV) DNA assay (HC2) and the INNO-LiPA HPV Genotyping Extra assay (INNO-LiPA) for cervical cancer screening in HIV-1-infected African women.

Design: The tests were compared for agreement in detecting high-risk HPV (hr-HPV) and performance to detect squamous intraepithelial lesions (SIL), by cytology, and cervical intraepithelial neoplasia, by histology, in cervical samples from 1224 women in Burkina Faso (N = 604) and South Africa (N = 620).

Results: When considering the 13 hr-HPV types detected by HC2, 634 (51.8%) and 849 (69.4%) samples were positive by HC2 and INNO-LiPA, respectively. Agreement between assays was 73.9% [adjusted kappa coefficient value, 0.44 (95% confidence interval: 0.43 to 0.53)]. Agreement improved with analysis restricted to women with high-grade cervical lesions [adjusted kappa coefficient value, 0.83 (95% confidence interval: 0.74 to 0.91)]. The prevalence of hr-HPV, as determined by HC2 and INNO-LiPA, was 34.5% and 54.5%, respectively, in samples with normal cytology, 48.0% and 68.0%, respectively, in samples with atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance, 51.8% and 75.2%, respectively, in samples with low-grade SIL, and 86.3% and 89.8%, respectively, in samples with high-grade SIL/atypical squamous cells that cannot exclude HSIL. Sensitivity, specificity, positive, and negative predictive values for the diagnosis of histological high-grade lesions (CIN2+) were 88.8%, 55.2%, 24.7% and 96.7%, and 92.5%, 35.1%, 19.1% and 96.6% for HC2 and INNO-LiPA, respectively.

Conclusions: HC2 has lower analytical sensitivity but higher specificity than INNO-LiPA for diagnosing high-grade lesions; the 2 tests presented a comparable clinical sensitivity. HC2 might be suitable for cervical cancer screening in HIV-1-infected African women, but its use in resource-limited settings merits to be further evaluated in comparison with other prevention strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/QAI.0000000000000428DOI Listing
February 2015

The clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of primary human papillomavirus cervical screening in England: extended follow-up of the ARTISTIC randomised trial cohort through three screening rounds.

Health Technol Assess 2014 Apr;18(23):1-196

Non-Communicable Disease Epidemiology Unit, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK.

Background: The ARTISTIC (A Randomised Trial In Screening To Improve Cytology) trial originally reported after two rounds of primary cervical screening with human papillomavirus (HPV). Extended follow-up of the randomised trial cohort through a third round could provide valuable insight into the duration of protection of a negative HPV test, which could allow extended screening intervals. If HPV primary screening is to be considered in the national programme, then determining its cost-effectiveness is key, and a detailed economic analysis using ARTISTIC data is needed.

Aims/objectives: (1) To determine the round 3 and cumulative rates of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) grade 2 or worse (2+) and CIN grade 3 or worse (CIN3+) between the revealed and concealed arms of ARTISTIC after three screening rounds over 6 years. (2) To compare the cumulative incidence of CIN2+ over three screening rounds following negative screening cytology with that following negative baseline HPV. (3) To determine whether or not HPV screening could safely extend the screening interval from 3 to 6 years. (4) To study the potential clinical utility of an increased cut-off of 2 relative light unit/mean control (RLU/Co) for Hybrid Capture 2 (HC2) and HPV genotyping in primary cervical screening. (5) To determine the potential impact of HPV vaccination with Cervarix™ in terms of preventing abnormal cytology and CIN2+. (6) To determine the cost-effectiveness of HPV primary screening compared with current practice using cervical cytology in England.

Design: The ARTISTIC study cohort was recalled for a third round of screening 3 years after round 2 and 6 years following their enrolment to the study. Both arms of the original trial used a single protocol during round 3.

Setting: ARTISTIC study cohort undergoing cervical screening in primary care in Greater Manchester, UK.

Participants: Between July 2007 and September 2009, 8873 women participated in round 3; 6337 had been screened in round 2 and 2536 had not been screened since round 1.

Interventions: All women underwent liquid-based cytology and HPV testing and genotyping. Colposcopy was offered to women with moderate dyskaryosis or worse and with HPV-positive mild dyskaryosis/borderline changes. Women with negative cytology or HPV-negative mild dyskaryosis/borderline changes were returned to routine recall.

Main Outcome Measures: Principal outcomes were cumulative rates of CIN2+ over three screening rounds by cytology and HPV status at entry; HPV type specific rates of CIN2+; effect of age on outcomes correlated with cytology and HPV status; comparison of HC2 cut-off RLU/Co of both 1 and 2; and cost-effectiveness of HPV primary screening.

Results: The median duration of follow-up was 72.7 months in round 3. Over the three screening rounds, there was no significant difference in CIN2+ [odds ratio (OR): 1.06, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.89 to 1.26, p = 0.5)] or CIN3+ (OR: 0.90, 95% CI 0.72 to 1.14, p = 0.4) rates between the trial arms (revealed vs. concealed). Overall, 16% of women were HC2 positive at entry, decreasing from 40% in women aged 20-24 years to around 7% in women aged over 50 years. Abnormal cytology rates at entry were 13% for borderline+ and 2% for moderate+ cytology. Following positive cytology at entry, the cumulative rate of CIN2+ was 20.5%, and was 20.1% following a HPV-positive result at baseline. The cumulative CIN2+ rate for women who were HPV negative at baseline was only 0.87% (95% CI 0.70% to 1.06%) after three rounds of screening, significantly lower than that for women with negative cytology, which was 1.41% (95% CI 1.19% to 1.65%). Women who were HPV negative at baseline had similar protection from CIN2+ after 6 years as women who were cytology negative at baseline after 3 years. Women who were HPV positive/cytology negative at baseline had a cumulative CIN2+ rate at 6 years of 7.7%, significantly higher than that for women who were cytology positive/HPV negative (3.2%). Women who were HPV type 16 positive at baseline had a cumulative CIN2+ rate over three rounds of 43.6% compared with 20.1% for any HPV-positive test. Using a HC2 cut-off of RLU/Co ≥ 2 would maintain acceptable sensitivity and result in 16% fewer HPV-positive results. Typing data suggested that around 55-60% of high-grade cytology and CIN2+, but less than 25% of low-grade cytology, would be prevented by HPV vaccine given current rates of coverage in the UK national programme. For the cost-effectiveness analysis, most of the primary HPV strategies examined where HPV was used as the sole primary test were cost saving in both unvaccinated and vaccinated cohorts under baseline cost assumptions, with a 7-18% reduction in annual screening-associated costs in unvaccinated cohorts and a 9-22% reduction for vaccinated cohorts. Utilising partial genotyping at the primary screening stage to identify women with HPV 16/18 and referring them to colposcopy was the most effective strategy (barring co-testing, which is significantly more costly than any other strategies considered), resulting in 83 additional life-years per 100,000 women for unvaccinated women when compared with current practice, and similar life-years saved compared with current practice for vaccinated women. In unvaccinated cohorts, however, this genotyping strategy is predicted to result in a 20% increase in the number of colposcopies performed in England, although in vaccinated cohorts the number of colposcopy referrals was predicted to be lower than in current practice. For all strategies in which HPV is used as the sole primary screening test, decreasing the follow-up interval for intermediate-risk women from 24 to 12 months increased the overall effectiveness of primary HPV screening. In exploratory analysis, strategies for which cytology screening was retained until either age 30 or 35 years, and for which HPV testing was used at older ages, were predicted to be of higher costs and intermediate effectiveness than those associated with full implementation of primary HPV screening from age 25 years. However, this finding should be interpreted with caution as it depends on assumptions made about screening behaviour and compliance with recommendations at the 'switch over' point.

Conclusions: HPV testing as an initial screen was significantly more protective over three rounds (6 years) than the current practice of cytology and the use of primary HPV screening could allow a safe lengthening of the screening interval. A substantial decrease in high-grade cytology and CIN2+ can be expected as a consequence of the HPV vaccination programme. A HC2 cut-off of 2RLU/Co instead of the manufacturer's recommended cut-off of 1 would be clinically beneficial in terms of an optimal balance between sensitivity and specificity. Modelled analysis predicts that primary HPV screening would be both more effective and cost saving compared with current practice with cervical cytology for a number of potential strategies in both unvaccinated and vaccinated cohorts. Compliance with surveillance and optimal management of HPV-positive/cytology-negative women after primary HPV screening is of key importance. Limitations of the economic investigation included the need to make assumptions around compliance with screening attendance and follow-up for longer screening intervals in the future, assumptions regarding maintenance of current uptake vaccination in the future, and assumptions regarding the stability of cost of HPV and cytology tests in the future. Detailed sensitivity analysis across a range of possible assumptions was conducted to address these issues. This study and the economic evaluation lend support to convert from cytology to HPV-based screening. Future work should include researching (i) the attitudes of women who test HPV positive/cytology negative, (ii) the value of complementary biomarkers and (iii) activities relevant to primary HPV screening in unvaccinated and vaccinated populations from the point of view of QALY assessment.

Study Registration: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN25417821.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3310/hta18230DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4781243PMC
April 2014

Efficacy of HPV-based screening for prevention of invasive cervical cancer: follow-up of four European randomised controlled trials.

Lancet 2014 Feb 3;383(9916):524-32. Epub 2013 Nov 3.

VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Background: In four randomised trials, human papillomavirus (HPV)-based screening for cervical cancer was compared with cytology-based cervical screening, and precursors of cancer were the endpoint in every trial. However, direct estimates are missing of the relative efficacy of HPV-based versus cytology-based screening for prevention of invasive cancer in women who undergo regular screening, of modifiers (eg, age) of this relative efficacy, and of the duration of protection. We did a follow-up study of the four randomised trials to investigate these outcomes.

Methods: 176,464 women aged 20-64 years were randomly assigned to HPV-based (experimental arm) or cytology-based (control arm) screening in Sweden (Swedescreen), the Netherlands (POBASCAM), England (ARTISTIC), and Italy (NTCC). We followed up these women for a median of 6·5 years (1,214,415 person-years) and identified 107 invasive cervical carcinomas by linkage with screening, pathology, and cancer registries, by masked review of histological specimens, or from reports. Cumulative and study-adjusted rate ratios (experimental vs control) were calculated for incidence of invasive cervical carcinoma.

Findings: The rate ratio for invasive cervical carcinoma among all women from recruitment to end of follow-up was 0·60 (95% CI 0·40-0·89), with no heterogeneity between studies (p=0·52). Detection of invasive cervical carcinoma was similar between screening methods during the first 2·5 years of follow-up (0·79, 0·46-1·36) but was significantly lower in the experimental arm thereafter (0·45, 0·25-0·81). In women with a negative screening test at entry, the rate ratio was 0·30 (0·15-0·60). The cumulative incidence of invasive cervical carcinoma in women with negative entry tests was 4·6 per 10(5) (1·1-12·1) and 8·7 per 10(5) (3·3-18·6) at 3·5 and 5·5 years, respectively, in the experimental arm, and 15·4 per 10(5) (7·9-27·0) and 36·0 per 10(5) (23·2-53·5), respectively, in the control arm. Rate ratios did not differ by cancer stage, but were lower for adenocarcinoma (0·31, 0·14-0·69) than for squamous-cell carcinoma (0·78, 0·49-1·25). The rate ratio was lowest in women aged 30-34 years (0·36, 0·14-0·94).

Interpretation: HPV-based screening provides 60-70% greater protection against invasive cervical carcinomas compared with cytology. Data of large-scale randomised trials support initiation of HPV-based screening from age 30 years and extension of screening intervals to at least 5 years.

Funding: European Union, Belgian Foundation Against Cancer, KCE-Centre d'Expertise, IARC, The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development, the Italian Ministry of Health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(13)62218-7DOI Listing
February 2014

Comparison of careHPV and hybrid capture 2 assays for detection of high-risk human Papillomavirus DNA in cervical samples from HIV-1-infected African women.

J Clin Microbiol 2013 Dec 9;51(12):4240-2. Epub 2013 Oct 9.

INSERM U1058 and University Hospital (CHU), Montpellier, France.

The careHPV and HC2 assays were compared for high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) DNA detection in cervical samples from 149 HIV-1-infected African women. The HR-HPV DNA detection rates were 37.6% and 34.9% for careHPV and HC2, respectively. Agreement between the two tests was 94.6% (95% confidence interval [CI], 89.7% to 97.7%) with a kappa value of 0.88 (95% CI, 0.81 to 0.96), indicating an excellent agreement. careHPV may be considered as suitable as HC2 for cervical cancer screening among HIV-infected African women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JCM.02144-13DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3838057PMC
December 2013

Sexual behavior and HPV infection in British women, by postal questionnaires and telephone interviews.

J Med Virol 2011 Jul 22;83(7):1238-46. Epub 2011 Apr 22.

Cancer Research UK Centre for Epidemiology, Mathematics & Statistics, Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK.

Sexually transmitted human papillomaviruses (HPVs), most frequently HPV 16, are the primary cause of cervical carcinogenesis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between sexual behavior and prevalence and acquisition of HPV infection among British women attending regular cervical screening who responded to postal questionnaires and/or telephone interviews. A total of 1,880 women who had been tested for HPV in the ARTISTIC (A Randomized Trial In Screening To Improve Cytology) trial were randomized to three methods of data collection: group 1 (questionnaire including sexual history, no interview), group 2 (questionnaire excluding sexual history, short interview including sexual history), and group 3 (questionnaire and long interview including sexual history in both). Questions on sexual history included age at first sexual intercourse, sexually transmitted diseases, lifetime (total and regular) sexual partners, and number of partners in the last 5 years (total and new). Demographics, reproductive, cervical screening, and smoking history were also collected in questionnaires. The overall participation rate was 35%. There was good agreement (87.4-95.5%) on sexual behavior answers in questionnaires and interviews in women in group 3 and no significant differences between data obtained by questionnaire or interview. Odds ratios (OR) for both HPV prevalence and acquisition increased consistently with increasing numbers of lifetime sexual partners, regular partners, and new partners in the last 5 years (recent partners). No significant association was found for other characteristics investigated. The effect of recent sexual partners on HPV acquisition (OR for 2+ recent partners: 4.4, 95% CI: 1.7-11.2) was stronger than that of earlier (> 5 years ago) partners (OR for 2+ earlier partners: 2.2, 95% CI: 0.7-6.7) suggesting that most incident HPV infections are newly acquired rather than recurrent.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jmv.22085DOI Listing
July 2011

A comparison of HPV DNA testing and liquid based cytology over three rounds of primary cervical screening: extended follow up in the ARTISTIC trial.

Eur J Cancer 2011 Apr 18;47(6):864-71. Epub 2011 Feb 18.

School of Cancer and Enabling Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, Manchester, UK.

Background: The additional sensitivity of HPV testing compared with cytology could permit extended cervical screening intervals. We wished to determine, through a further (third) round of screening in the ARTISTIC trial, the protection provided by a negative baseline HPV screen compared with that of cytology over a 6 year period.

Methods: Cumulative rates of CIN2 or worse (CIN2+) and CIN3 or worse (CIN3+) were correlated with baseline HPV status and cytology. HPV was detected using the Hybrid Capture 2 (Qiagen) assay for high risk types and genotyped using the Linear Array (Roche) and Papillocheck (Greiner) assays. LBC was performed using ThinPrep (Hologic).

Findings: Round 3 included 8,873 women of whom 6,337 had been screened in both rounds 1 and 2 and 2,536 had not been screened since round 1. The median duration of follow-up was 72.7 months. The cumulative rate of CIN2+ over three rounds was 3.88% (95%CI 3.59%, 4.17%) overall; 2.39% in round 1, 0.78% in round 2 and 0.74% in round 3. Cumulative rates by baseline status were 20.53% (95%CI 19.04%, 22.08%) for abnormal cytology, 20.12% (95%CI 18.68%, 21.61%) for HPV detection, 1.41% (95%CI 1.19%, 1.65%) for negative cytology and 0.87% (95%CI 0.70%, 1.06%) for a negative HPV test. In HPV negative women aged over 50 the cumulative rate was 0.16% (95%CI 0.07%, 0.34%). Women who were HPV positive/cytology negative at entry had a cumulative CIN2+ rate of 7.73% (95%CI 6.29%, 9.36%) over 6 years, twice the overall rate.

Interpretation: A negative HPV test was significantly more protective than normal cytology over three rounds. The findings of this extension of ARTISTIC suggest that the screening interval could be extended to 6 years if HPV testing replaced cytology as the primary screening test.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2011.01.008DOI Listing
April 2011

HPV testing in combination with liquid-based cytology in primary cervical screening (ARTISTIC): a randomised controlled trial.

Lancet Oncol 2009 Jul 17;10(7):672-82. Epub 2009 Jun 17.

School of Cancer and Imaging Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.

Background: Testing for human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA is reportedly more sensitive than cytology for the detection of high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN). The effectiveness of HPV testing in primary cervical screening was assessed in the ARTISTIC trial, which was done over two screening rounds approximately 3 years apart (2001-03 and 2004-07) by comparing liquid-based cytology (LBC) combined with HPV testing against LBC alone.

Methods: Women aged 20-64 years who were undergoing routine screening as part of the English National Health Service Cervical Screening Programme in Greater Manchester were randomly assigned (between July, 2001, and September, 2003) in a ratio of 3:1 to either combined LBC and HPV testing in which the results were revealed and acted on, or to combined LBC and HPV testing where the HPV result was concealed from the patient and investigator. The primary outcome was the detection rate of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 3 or worse (CIN3+) in the second screening round, analysed by intention to treat. This trial is registered with the International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial Number ISRCTN25417821.

Findings: There were 24 510 eligible women at entry (18 386 in the revealed group, 6124 in the concealed group). In the first round of screening 233 women (1.27%) in the revealed group had CIN3+, compared with 80 (1.31%) women in the concealed group (odds ratio [OR] 0.97, 95% CI 0.75-1.25; p>0.2). There was an unexpectedly large drop in the proportion of women with CIN3+ between the first and second rounds of screening in both groups, at 0.25% (29 of 11 676) in the revealed group and 0.47% (18 of 3866 women) in the concealed group (OR 0.53, 95% CI 0.30-0.96; p=0.042). For both rounds combined, the proportion of women with CIN3+ were 1.51% (revealed) and 1.77% (concealed) (OR 0.85, 95% CI 0.67-1.08; p>0.2).

Interpretation: LBC combined with HPV testing resulted in a significantly lower detection rate of CIN3+ in the second round of screening compared with LBC screening alone, but the effect was small. Over the two screening rounds combined, co-testing did not detect a higher rate of CIN3+ or CIN2+ than LBC alone. Potential changes in screening methodology should be assessed over at least two screening rounds.

Funding: National Institute of Health Research Health Technology Assessment Programme.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(09)70156-1DOI Listing
July 2009

Counting potentially functional variants in BRCA1, BRCA2 and ATM predicts breast cancer susceptibility.

Hum Mol Genet 2007 May 6;16(9):1051-7. Epub 2007 Mar 6.

The Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Centre, Institute of Cancer Research, 237 Fulham Road, London, SW3 6JB, UK.

Rare inactivating mutations in BRCA1, BRCA2, ATM, TP53 and CHEK2 confer relative risks for breast cancer between about 2 and more than 10, but more common variants in these genes are generally considered of little or no clinical significance. Under the polygenic model for breast cancer carriers of multiple low-penetrance alleles are at high risk, but few such alleles have been reliably identified. We analysed 1037 potentially functional single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in candidate cancer genes in 473 women with two primary breast cancers and 2463 controls. Twenty-five of these SNPs were in BRCA1, BRCA2, ATM, TP53 and CHEK2. Among the 1037 SNPs there were a few significant findings, but hardly more than would be expected in this large experiment. There was, however, a significant trend in risk with increasing numbers of variant alleles for the 25 SNPs in BRCA1, BRCA2, ATM, TP53 and CHEK2 (P(trend) = 0.005). For the 21 of these with minor allele frequency <10% this trend was highly significant (P(trend) = 0.00004, odds ratio for 3 or more SNPs = 2.90, 95% CI 1.69-4.97). The individual effects of most of these risk alleles were undetectably small even in this well powered study, but the risk conferred by multiple variants is readily detectable and makes a substantial contribution to susceptibility. A risk score incorporating a suitably weighted sum of all potentially functional variants in these and a few other candidate genes may provide clinically useful identification of women at high genetic risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddm050DOI Listing
May 2007

The cervical cancer epidemic that screening has prevented in the UK.

Lancet 2004 Jul 17-23;364(9430):249-56

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK.

Background: Recent reports suggest that the reduction in mortality achieved by the UK national cervical screening programme is too small to justify its financial and psychosocial costs, except perhaps in a few high-risk women.

Methods: We analysed trends in mortality before 1988, when the British national screening programme was launched, to estimate what future trends in cervical cancer mortality would have been without any screening.

Findings: Cervical cancer mortality in England and Wales in women younger than 35 years rose three-fold from 1967 to 1987. By 1988, incidence in this age-range was among the highest in the world despite substantial opportunistic screening. Since national screening was started in 1988, this rising trend has been reversed.

Interpretation: Cervical screening has prevented an epidemic that would have killed about one in 65 of all British women born since 1950 and culminated in about 6000 deaths per year in this country. However, these estimates are subject to substantial uncertainty, particularly in relation to the effects of oral contraceptives and changes in sexual behaviour. 80% or more of these deaths (up to 5000 deaths per year) are likely to be prevented by screening, which means that about 100000 (one in 80) of the 8 million British women born between 1951 and 1970 will be saved from premature death by the cervical screening programme at a cost per life saved of about pound 36000. The birth cohort trends also provide strong evidence that the death rate throughout life is substantially lower in women who were first screened when they were younger.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(04)16674-9DOI Listing
July 2004

Lifetime risks of common cancers among retinoblastoma survivors.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2004 Mar;96(5):357-63

Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK.

Background: Compared with the general population, carriers of germline mutations in RB1 who survive retinoblastoma (i.e., hereditary retinoblastoma survivors) are at increased risk of early-onset second cancers, particularly sarcomas, brain tumors, and melanoma. However, their risks for the epithelial cancers that commonly occur after age 50 years are not known.

Methods: We used hospital records to identify British retinoblastoma survivors born between 1873 and 1950, a period when few British retinoblastoma patients received high-dose radiotherapy. Cancers and deaths were identified by linkage with national registration records. All statistical tests were two-sided.

Results: We could trace the cancer histories of 144 survivors of hereditary retinoblastoma. From age 25 to age 84, there were 58 subsequent cancers, for a cumulative cancer incidence of 68.8% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 48.0% to 87.4%) and a cumulative cancer mortality of 56.3% (95% CI = 40.5% to 73.3%). Only eight of the 58 cancers were of bone or soft tissue, in marked contrast to findings from contemporary studies of American patients treated with external beam radiotherapy, among whom most second tumors are sarcomas. Compared with the general population, hereditary retinoblastoma survivors had higher mortality from lung cancer (standardized mortality ratio [SMR] = 7.01, 95% CI = 3.83 to 11.76), bladder cancer (SMR = 26.31, 95% CI = 8.54 to 61.41), and all other epithelial cancers combined (SMR = 3.29, 95% CI = 1.64 to 5.89). The overall standardized mortality ratio for epithelial cancer was inversely proportional to the approximate square of age (exponent of age = -2.1, 95% CI = -3.6 to -0.7), declining from 11.32 (95% CI = 4.15 to 24.64) at age 25-44 to 2.83 (95% CI = 1.04 to 6.16) at age 65-84.

Conclusions: Survivors of hereditary retinoblastoma who are not exposed to high-dose radiotherapy have a high lifetime risk of developing a late-onset epithelial cancer. Most of the excess cancer risks in hereditary retinoblastoma survivors might be preventable by limiting exposures to DNA damaging agents (radiotherapy, tobacco, and UV light).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djh058DOI Listing
March 2004
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