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HPV Self-Collection Solution Improves Access to Cervical Cancer Testing

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 17 May 2024
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Image: Roche Cell Collection Medium provides long-term stability for specimens collected via self-collection (Photo courtesy of Roche)
Image: Roche Cell Collection Medium provides long-term stability for specimens collected via self-collection (Photo courtesy of Roche)

Annually, over 604,000 women across the world are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and about 342,000 die from this disease, which is preventable and primarily caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). A staggering 90% of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. Screening for HPV is crucial as it helps identify women at risk of developing cervical cancer, thereby enabling early intervention before the cancer can develop. In regions where healthcare resources are scarce, enhancing the accessibility of screening and reducing obstacles to sample collection are critical to preventing this disease. Now, a novel HPV self-sampling method expands the availability of cervical cancer screening by allowing patients to collect their samples privately while at a healthcare facility.

Roche (Basel, Switzerland) has received FDA approval for its HPV self-collection solution, one of the first available in the United States where more than half of the women diagnosed with cervical cancer have either never been screened or do so infrequently, often missing out on routine screening opportunities. Several factors deter individuals from participating in cervical cancer screening programs, including limited access to healthcare, social and economic barriers, past traumatic experiences, cultural concerns, and feelings of embarrassment.

Roche’s HPV self-collection solution addresses these barriers by providing an alternative to traditional clinician-collected procedures, while still offering accurate and dependable results that allow healthcare professionals to make informed decisions regarding patient care. The self-collection method facilitates accessible screening, where individuals can take their own vaginal samples in a healthcare setting. These samples are then analyzed using Roche’s cobas molecular instrument in a laboratory. Individuals who test positive for HPV would subsequently seek further care from healthcare providers.

“With vaccinations, innovative diagnostic tools and screening programs, achieving the WHO’s goal of eliminating cervical cancer by 2030 is within reach,” said Matt Sause, CEO of Roche Diagnostics. “Our HPV self-collection solution helps support this goal by reducing barriers and providing access to HPV screening by allowing people to privately collect their own sample for HPV testing.”


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