Aptima mRNA

Cervical cancer develops as a result of long-term infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV).


HPV infection is very common and most women of reproductive age will be infected at some point in their lives. In most cases, however, the virus recedes on its own, without leaving any damage to the cervix. However, there are very few cases in which the virus persists and causes so-called precancerous changes, which are divided into low-grade (CIN1) and high-grade (CIN2-3).


A necessary and sufficient condition for cell immortalization, neoplastic transformation and ultimately the development of cervical cancer is the expression of E6/E7 oncogenes.

Today we have at our disposal a diagnostic test that detects the mRNA expression of 2 oncogenes E6/E7 of the HPV virus, the Aptima mRNA HPV test.

Aptima mRNA HPV test is a new molecular test, which helps to identify which women are really at risk from the virus HPV and which ones are not, so they do not need to undergo invasive procedures, which are not devoid of side effects.

Aptima detects active (dangerous) HPV infection, or the tumorigenicity of the virus. The test has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The test detects the viral mRNA and specifically them oncoproteins E6/E7. A positive Aptima means that the HPV infection is active and that the oncogenic activity of the virus has begun. The detection of existence of mRNA copies of E6/E7 oncoproteins is a more accurate method, indicative of progression to malignancy, compared to the detection of HPV DNA, because only E6/E7 mRNA overexpression of high-risk HPV types is sign of initiation of carcinogenesis.

An important advantage is that Aptima, when there is no cervical lesion or when there is a non-severe low-grade lesion, is positive less often compared to an HPV DNA test, i.e. it has a very better specialty.

At the same time, it has a lot high sensitivity for the detection of high-grade lesions, while it is also positive in those few cancers where the L1 part of the viral DNA has been lost and the HPV DNA test is negative.

In other words, this test detects only those women who are really at risk of developing cervical cancer and at the same time does not miss cases of high-grade lesions or cancer that with an HPV DNA test there is a risk of being missed.

In fact, when the Test Aptima is carried out in conjunction with the ThinPrep pap test, then the woman can be sure that she has a very high protection against cervical cancer. The two tests can be done at the same time, from a single reception and visit of the woman to her doctor.

Numerous scientific data now prove that the combination of these two tests (ThinPrep Pap test + Aptima mRNA HPV test), Known as Co-testing, offers the best possible protection for women from cervical cancer, especially in the 30-65 age group. What does Co-testing mean? It's 2 exams in 1.

95% of all cancers is detected when the woman is screened with both tests.

When both ThinPrep Pap Test and Aptima mRNA HPV test are negative, the woman can be sure that she is not at risk of any serious change or cancer in her cervix.