VALHUDES: A protocol for VALidation of HUman papillomavirus assays and collection DEvices for HPV testing on Self-samples and urine samples

M. Arbyn, E. Peeters, I. Benoy, D. Vanden Broeck, J. Bogers, P. De Sutter, G. Donders, W. Tjalma, S. Weyers, K. Cuschieri, M. Poljak, J. Bonde, C. Cocuzza, F.H. Zhao, S. Van Keer, A. Vorsters


Systematic reviews have concluded that hrHPV DNA testing using target-amplification tests is as accurate on vaginal self-samples as on clinician-taken specimens for the detection of cervical precancer. However, insufficient evidence is available for specific HPV assay/self-sample device combinations.


The VALHUDES protocol is designed as a diagnostic test accuracy study that aims to compare the clinical sensitivity and specificity of particular hrHPV assay(s) on vaginal self-samples and first-void-urine, collected in agreement with standardized protocols, with hrHPV testing on matched clinician-taken samples.

Study design

Five hundred enrolled women referred to a colposcopy clinic are invited to collect a first-void urine sample and one or more vaginal self-samples with particular devices before collection of a cervical sample by a clinician. Sample sets are subsequently analysed in a laboratory accredited for HPV testing. Disease verification for all enrolled patients is provided by colposcopy combined with histological assessment of biopsies.


A first VALHUDES study has started in Belgium in December 2017 with enrolment from four colposcopy centres. The following assays are foreseen to be evaluated: RealTime High Risk HPV assay (Abbott), cobas-4800 and -6800 (Roche), Onclarity (BD), Xpert HPV (Cepheid) and Anyplex II HPV HR (Seegene).


Given empirical evidence that the relative accuracy of HPV-testing on self- vs clinician-samples is robust across clinical settings, the VALHUDES protocol offers a framework for validation of HPV assay/self-sample device combinations that can be translated to a primary screening setting.