HPV Vaccination & Diagnostic testing from urine

Cervical cancer kills over one third of a million women around the World every year. These deaths can be prevented through a program of vaccination and molecular diagnostic testing.

Location Annual Cases Annual Deaths
UK 3,197 853
USA 11,500 4,360
Worldwide 604,000 342,000

In a recent Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Public Health Scotland published the finding of its study, that has tracked the health records over the last 35 years of girls aged 12 or 13 who were born over an 8 year period (1 January 1988 to 5 June 1996) who were all vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV). The results reported showed that none had developed invasive cervical cancer.

It is vital to get all boys and girls vaccinated, in order to eliminate cervical cancer in women and mouth/throat, penis and anus cancers, and genital warts in men.

The statistics about uptake of vaccines are complex but in a paper published by the UK Health Security Agency, they report that the uptake varies depending on age and sex, ranging between 59.2% up to 86.5%.

Smear testing is used to detect certain aggressive HPV strains, as well as pre-cancerous cells on the cervix. It is a time consuming, painful and embarrassing test; universally disliked test by all women who have ever had one. Which is probably a major cause of the poor uptake of smear testing in the UK with 28% of women aged 25 to 64 in the UK failing to be tested.

In cost terms it also an expensive test, requiring a considerable amount of a skilled practice nurse’s time and space within primary care facilities, both of which are at a premium in GP practices.

Cervical cancer can only be eliminated through a full vaccination of both boys and girls against HPV and with comprehensive diagnostic testing focused on mRNA testing. Testing is still required as there remain a cohort who have either not been vaccinated, or were vaccinated later in life, with lower vaccine effect.

In line with the NHS target to eliminate Cervical Cancer by 2040 in the UK, Fast MDx aims to offer test labs the opportunity to run thousands of low-cost HPV diagnostic tests, directly from urine on the Fast MDx platform.

This, they hope, will improve the uptake of testing by women and will allow men to also be tested. Peeing in a pot is simple and both embarrassment and pain free. This convenient home test will dramatically reduce test costs, as well as save much needed clinicians time whilst freeing up GP practice facilities, both of which are always in short supply.

13th February 2024

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