A new collaborative pooled analysis led by researchers from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) provides evidence on how cervical cancer screening programmes could contribute to the prevention of anal cancer in women.
The results of the study, published today in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, showed that cervical infection with high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV), cervical cytohistopathology results, HIV status, and the combinations of these factors were all associated with a woman’s anal cancer risk profile. The strongest determinants of anal cancer risk were the presence of cervical HPV16 infection or a diagnosis of cervical cancer. Cervical and anal HPV16 infections were highly correlated.
These findings suggest that modern HPV-based cervical cancer screening programmes can help to stratify women into different categories of anal cancer risk. Although the incidence of anal cancer is low at a population level, it is expected to be much higher among older women with cervical HPV16 infection, for whom specific anal cancer prevention algorithms might be developed.
Lin C, Slama J, Gonzalez P, Goodman MT, Xia N, Kreimer AR, et al.
Cervical determinants of anal HPV infection and high-grade anal lesions in women: a collaborative pooled analysis
Lancet Infect Dis, Published online 13 June 2019;