Science & Technology

Publication in the International Journal of Cancer on the Confidence Assay validation results: Performance of a new HPV and biomarker assay in the management of hrHPV positive women

The ongoing Triage and Risk Assessment of Cervical Precancer by Epigenetic Biomarker (TRACE) prospective, multicenter study aimed to provide a clinical evaluation of the CONFIDENCETM assay, which comprises a human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA and a human epigenetic biomarker test. Between 2013 and 2015 over 6,000 women aged 18 or older were recruited in Hungary. Liquid-based cytology (LBC), high-risk HPV (hrHPV) DNA detection and single target host gene methylation test of the promoter sequence of the POU4F3 gene by quantitative methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) were performed from the same liquid-based cytology sample. The current analysis is focused on the baseline cross-sectional clinical results of 5,384 LBC samples collected from subjects aged 25 years or older. The performance of the CONFIDENCE HPVTM test was found to be comparable to the cobasVR HPV test with good agreement. When applying the CONFIDENCE MarkerTM test alone in hrHPV positives, it showed significantly higher sensitivity with matching specificity compared to LBC-based triage. For CIN31 histological endpoint in the age group of 25–65 and 30–65, the methylation test of POU4F3 achieved relative sensitivities of 1.74 (95% CI: 1.25–2.33) and 1.64 (95% CI: 1.08–2.27), respectively, after verification bias adjustment. On the basis of our findings, POU4F3 methylation as a triage test of hrHPV positives appears to be a noteworthy method. We can reasonably assume that its quantitative nature offers the potential for a more objective and discriminative risk assessment tool in the prevention and diagnostics of high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) lesions and cervical cancer.

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