Slow clap for the Pap.

Just when you thought Pap smears were a thing of the past, this retrospective analysis of prior banked Pap smear samples from 17 women with high-grade serous epithelial ovarian cancer detected (via PCR) clonal pathogenic TP53 variants in two-thirds (n=11) of patients. The median interval from Pap collection to HGS-EOC diagnosis was 15 (IQR 3-36) months. What’s more fascinating, for the 3 patients that had multiple Pap samples, these TP53 variants were present even in the most remote samples from 2 patients (4 years and almost 6 years prior to diagnosis) and as far back as 2-4 years (but not >4 years) in the third patient. TBL: Adding TP53 PCR testing to non-invasive cytological cervical testing could prove an elusive early intervention for ovarian cancer. | Paracchini, JAMA Netw Open 2020

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