Nav: Home

DNA test is an effective cervical cancer screening tool for women in low-income countries

May 03, 2019

LEBANON, NH - Cervical cancer is a major issue in low- and middle-income countries due to the lack of adequate screening such as routine Pap smear testing. These countries have high incidences of cervical cancer linked to human papillomavirus (HPV). Due to lack of resources for cancer screenings, these countries account for 85% of all cervical cancer cases.

A group of researchers from Dartmouth's Norris Cotton Cancer Center, led by Gregory Tsongalis, PhD, have introduced an inexpensive DNA-based testing protocol for HPV in Honduras. The team found that of 1,732 women screened, 28% were positive for a high-risk HPV type and of those, 26% had more than one HPV infection. Results also showed that the most common HPV genotypes detected during testing were different than those commonly found in the United States. Their findings, "Screening for Human Papillomavirus in a Low- and Middle-Income Country" are newly published in ASCO's Journal of Global Oncology.

"We have shown that cervical cancer screening can be implemented in low-resource settings using this method, and that women are very interested and engaged in testing and follow-up clinic visits when necessary," says Tsongalis. "This study also identified something we were not expecting and that is a very significant difference in the types of high-risk HPV that we were detecting."

Such findings could mean profound implications for vaccination programs. "The causes of cervical cancer, while viral in nature, are not always the same type of virus and that could impact aggressiveness of disease, vaccinations and therapies," says Tsongalis.

The team would like to use their findings to guide studies of actual cervical cancer tissue and also to formulate therapeutic vaccine trials. "Being able to screen individuals who have never been tested before and studying the impact of the testing on their healthcare as well as our understanding of the biology of the disease is most exciting," says Tsongalis.
-end-
Gregory Tsongalis, PhD, is a Professor and Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine, as well as Director of Clinical Genomics and Advanced Technology and member of the Cancer Biology and Therapeutics Research Program at Dartmouth's Norris Cotton Cancer Center. His research interests include development of advanced diagnostic technologies and disease biomarker discovery.

About Norris Cotton Cancer Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock:

Norris Cotton Cancer Center combines advanced cancer research at Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine with patient-centered cancer care provided at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH, at Dartmouth-Hitchcock regional locations in Manchester, Nashua and Keene, NH, and St. Johnsbury, VT, and at partner hospitals throughout New Hampshire and Vermont. It is one of 49 centers nationwide to earn the National Cancer Institute's "Comprehensive Cancer Center" designation. Learn more about Norris Cotton Cancer Center research, programs, and clinical trials online at cancer.dartmouth.edu.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center

Related Cervical Cancer Articles:

Disasters can affect cervical cancer screening for years
Screening is important for the early detection of cervical cancer, but rates were significantly affected, in some areas for years, following a devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
Cervical cancer elimination possible within two decades in the US
At current levels of screening and HPV vaccination, cervical cancer incidence in the US is projected to fall below the threshold of elimination by 2038-2046.
Cervical cancer screening saves lives
Three-year interval in screening for cervical cancer is as effective as annual checkups, study finds.
Cervical cancer could be eliminated within a century
Cervical cancer could be eliminated worldwide as a public health issue within the next century.
25 years of learning to combat cervical cancer
A recent paper from the lab of Professor Sudhir Krishna at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore, reviews the progress made in cervical cancer research over the past 25 years.
Cervical cancer screening numbers drop off in women 45-65
Virtually all cervical cancers are caused by HPV, and much of the attention in recent years has focused on preventing infections in younger women through HPV vaccination.
Stress in cervical cancer patients associated with higher risk of cancer-specific mortality
Psychological stress was associated with a higher risk of cancer-specific mortality in women diagnosed with cervical cancer.
Cost-effectiveness analysis of 12 cervical cancer screenings
This cost-effectiveness analysis incorporates women's preferences and estimates quality of life and economic outcomes for 12 cervical cancer screening strategies.
Urine test could prevent cervical cancer
Urine testing may be as effective as the smear test at preventing cervical cancer, according to new research by University of Manchester scientists.
Cervical cancer subtype rising in some sub-populations
A new study reports that a type of cervical cancer that is less amenable to Pap testing is increasing in several subpopulations of women, pointing to the growing importance of human papillomavirus (HPV) testing and vaccination
More Cervical Cancer News and Cervical Cancer Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Teaching For Better Humans 2.0
More than test scores or good grades–what do kids need for the future? This hour, TED speakers explore how to help children grow into better humans, both during and after this time of crisis. Guests include educators Richard Culatta and Liz Kleinrock, psychologist Thomas Curran, and writer Jacqueline Woodson.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#556 The Power of Friendship
It's 2020 and times are tough. Maybe some of us are learning about social distancing the hard way. Maybe we just are all a little anxious. No matter what, we could probably use a friend. But what is a friend, exactly? And why do we need them so much? This week host Bethany Brookshire speaks with Lydia Denworth, author of the new book "Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life's Fundamental Bond". This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 3: Shared Immunity
More than a million people have caught Covid-19, and tens of thousands have died. But thousands more have survived and recovered. A week or so ago (aka, what feels like ten years in corona time) producer Molly Webster learned that many of those survivors possess a kind of superpower: antibodies trained to fight the virus. Not only that, they might be able to pass this power on to the people who are sick with corona, and still in the fight. Today we have the story of an experimental treatment that's popping up all over the country: convalescent plasma transfusion, a century-old procedure that some say may become one of our best weapons against this devastating, new disease.   If you have recovered from Covid-19 and want to donate plasma, national and local donation registries are gearing up to collect blood.  To sign up with the American Red Cross, a national organization that works in local communities, head here.  To find out more about the The National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project, which we spoke about in our episode, including information on clinical trials or plasma donation projects in your community, go here.  And if you are in the greater New York City area, and want to donate convalescent plasma, head over to the New York Blood Center to sign up. Or, register with specific NYC hospitals here.   If you are sick with Covid-19, and are interested in participating in a clinical trial, or are looking for a plasma donor match, check in with your local hospital, university, or blood center for more; you can also find more information on trials at The National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project. And lastly, Tatiana Prowell's tweet that tipped us off is here. This episode was reported by Molly Webster and produced by Pat Walters. Special thanks to Drs. Evan Bloch and Tim Byun, as well as the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.  Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.