Modelling the costs and benefits of an mRNA compared to a DNA high-risk HPV assay in a hypothetical HPV primary screening algorithm in Ontario, Canada

Cases of cervical cancer in Canada have decreased recently as a result of cytology-based screening programs. However, cervical cancer remains a relatively common and preventable cause of cancer in women. As cervical cancer is primarily caused by persistent genital infection with high-risk (HR) human papillomaviruses, Ontario Health has been evaluating implementing HPV-based testing in cervical screening.

As the type of HR-HPV test used in a cervical screen program can impact costs and resources, Aquarius Population Health developed a decision tree model to compare the use of the Aptima mRNA HR-HPV assay to a DNA HR-HPV assay in a hypothetical HPV primary screening algorithm in Ontario, Canada.

Results found for women aged 30-65 years screened in Ontario, using an mRNA versus a DNA HR-HPV assay would save over $4M CAD and avoid roughly 11,000 unnecessary colposcopies, 15,000 HPV tests and 40,000 cytology tests.

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