To coincide with Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, QuantuMDx Group has announced the start of a field study with St George’s, University of London, to evaluate its human papilloma virus (HPV) assay which will provide a solution for cervical cancer screening in both high and low resource settings.
The assay identifies the presence of high-risk types of HPV, the main cause of cervical cancer, as well as some genital and head and neck cancers.
HPV testing is being used more and more in cervical screening programs and offers many benefits over traditional PAP testing. This is more evident in low resource settings where access to skilled technicians and expensive tests and equipment is limited. As quality routine screening is not widely accessible to women in low-and middle-income countries, most deaths from cervical cancer occur in those regions. These 300,000 deaths could all but be eradicated through ‘screen and treat’ programmes, where women are tested and immediately treated should HR-HPV be detected.
Performance testing of the HPV assay will take place using QuantuMDx’s prototype Q-POC™ platform, which compresses a molecular diagnostics laboratory into a simple-to-use, portable, affordable and battery-operated device that can be used anywhere from basic ‘under-the-tree’ settings to clinics and hospitals. Testing will support same-day screen and treat programmes for women from across the globe.
Further, as St George’s, University of London has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with University of Malaya, there are plans to expand the study to Malaysia, a key South East Asian market for QuantuMDx, as part of Programme R.O.S.E (Removing Obstacles in Cervical Screening) – a collaborative programme being undertaken with global experts in the field. Key components include self-sampling of women, HPV DNA testing and Digital e-Health platform for high connectivity to participants and real time reporting. The work is being led by the University of Malaya, the Malaysian government and Victoria Cytology Services Foundation, an Australian not-for-profit organisation with expertise in cervical cancer.
Programme ROSE is informing the implementation and scale-up of a phased, feasible, cost-effective and sustainable national cervical cancer screening programme, to complement the successful HPV vaccination programme in Malaysia.
Jonathan O’Halloran, Chief Scientific Officer, QuantuMDx Group, said:
“Our goal is to ensure accurate, accessible and affordable diagnostic solutions for all. As such, we’re very excited by the collaboration with our partner, St George’s, University of London and the opportunities it offers with the University of Malaya: initially undertaking field studies, then implementation studies and subsequently the roll out of our Q-POC™ device and HPV assay.
Professor Sanjeev Krishna, Professor of Medicine and Molecular Parasitology at St George’s, University of London, said:
“Advances in biotechnology are especially exciting when they aim to benefit the health and wellbeing of women who are in the blind spot of society. This technology, developed by QuantuMDx, can impact on the lives and health of millions of women worldwide.”