15 May 2013, BioSpectrum Bureau , BioSpectrum
Singapore: Qiagen is partnering with Calmette Hospital in Cambodia to help develop national standards on screening for human papillomavirus (HPV), the primary cause of cervical cancer. Cambodia has the highest incidence of cervical cancer in South East Asia (27.4 cases per 100,000 females) and the region's highest mortality rate (10.9 deaths per 100,000 females), according to the latest WHO data.
Cervical cancer is the most common cancer affecting women in Cambodia. Yet the disease is preventable through a combined regime of testing for human papillomavirus (HPV), an infection that is the primary cause of cervical cancer, as well as through the use of HPV vaccines.
Qiagen signed an agreement with Calmette Hospital in 2012 for a pilot project aiming to implement the optimal HPV screening solution with high sensitivity and specificity for Cambodian women. Data generated will provide input for national screening guidelines to reduce the country's burden of cervical cancer.
"We are pleased that Cambodia is taking a proactive stance to combat cervical cancer, a preventable but deadly disease afflicting women. Qiagen is working closely with Calmette Hospital on the strategy for preventive HPV screening, a key to saving lives and reducing the devastating human and economic costs," said Dr Victor Shi, president of Qiagen Asia Pacific. "Awareness by the public and healthcare workers is the first step toward defeating the disease."
"Calmette Hospital is committed to providing the very best care to bring down Cambodia's high burden from cervical cancer and that includes outreach and educational efforts on screening and prevention, as well as the treatment of women with HPV infection and cervical cancer itself. The May 12 events, including the ‘flash mob' public forum and the medical training, will help spread the truth that cervical cancer can be prevented by implementing a few straightforward steps," said Dr Hav Monirath, head of the pathology laboratory at Calmette Hospital.
Qiagen markets the digene HC2 HPV Test, the gold standard molecular diagnostic, which has been used more than 90 million times to screen women around the world for HPV. In 2012 Qiagen's careHPV Test, the only DNA test designed for HPV screening in low-resource areas lacking laboratory infrastructure, was approved by China's SFDA. Qiagen is now launching careHPV across China as a complementary product to digene HC2.