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The Nation

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a test that can detect a sexually transmitted virus believed to be linked to the development of cervical cancer, the Baltimore Sun reported. The test, the first of its kind to gain FDA approval, screens for the presence of the human papilloma virus (HPV) and is expected to be used by physicians and medical laboratories along with the Pap smear, which detects pre-cancerous and cancerous cells on the cervix, the newspaper said. Sales of ViraPap could bring in as much as $35 million for its maker, Life Technologies Inc. of Gaithersburg, Md., analysts said. Some physicians estimate as many as 10% of American women may be infected by HPV, which causes venereal warts in both men and women and has been linked to cancerous cell changes of the genital tract.


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