Prof. J. (Hans) Berkhof PhD Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam 

Self Sampling for Cervical HPV: Useful Screening Tool Interview with:

Prof. J. (Hans) Berkhof PhD Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam 

Prof. Berkhof

Prof. J. (Hans) Berkhof PhD
Vrije Universiteit
Amsterdam What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: In most countries, the Pap test is used for cervical cancer screening but recently several countries have switched from Pap testing to HPV testing.

Like the Pap test, the HPV test requires a cervical sample to be taken by a clinician. Vaginal self-sampling is also used, but only in underscreened women. We know that self-sampling increases screening participation in underscreened women and it is likely that many women that attend screening also prefer self-sampling if it had been offered to them.

We studied whether an HPV self-sampling test is an accurate alternative to a regular HPV test in women invited for routine screening. We randomized about 14,000 women, invited for screening, to self-sampling or clinician-sampling. Women with a positive HPV test result also received the other HPV test.

We found that the HPV self-sampling test yielded similar performance as the regular HPV test for detection of cervical pre-cancerous lesions (CIN3 and CIN2). What should readers take away from your report?

Response: HPV testing on a self-collected sample is accurate and may be considered as a screening method in routine screening. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: Future research should focus on how to implement HPV self-sampling in cervical cancer screening programs. Should we offer it to all women as a first test, should we let women decide or should we offer self-sampling only when women prefer not to visit the clinician for a screening test?

Disclosures: My employer has received consultancy fees from GSK and Merck and I have received travel support from DDL. 


Performance of human papillomavirus testing on self-collected versus clinician-collected samples for the detection of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia of grade 2 or worse: a randomised, paired screen-positive, non-inferiority trial

Nicole J Polman, MD Renée M F Ebisch, MD Daniëlle A M Heideman, PhD
Willem J G Melchers, PhD Ruud L M Bekkers, MD Anco C Molijn, MSc et al.
January 15, 2019 DOI:


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Last Updated on January 25, 2019 by Marie Benz MD FAAD