Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable cancers today, thanks to vaccination, screening and early treatment. Unlike most cancers, the main cause of cervical cancer is well known; over
Nearly 90% of annual cervical cancer deaths occur in
In 2020, 194 countries signed up to the
Central to the strategy are WHO’s 90-70-90 targets that call on countries to take action now, in order to meet the 10-year ambition by 2030. To date, and as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, progress has not ramped up to the level of expectations.
In 2021, the WHO also published updated guidelines that recommend HPV DNA-based tests as the primary screening method, rather than visual inspection or cytology.
Through its Global Access Program, Roche is working on eradicating cervical cancer by increasing awareness, screening accuracy and linkage to care for all women - no matter where they live. In low and lower-middle income countries, we are working with governments, healthcare facilities and international agencies to strengthen the infrastructure needed to run scalable cervical cancer screening programs. We engage in a range of activities including disease awareness and educational programs, healthcare worker training, improving lab efficiency, digital solutions, along with global advocacy. Our primary goal is to increase screenings to identify precancerous lesions caused by HPV so they can be removed to prevent invasive cancers from developing, and to find cervical cancers at an early stage, when they have a chance to be treated successfully.
To eliminate cervical cancer, countries in the region are implementing state-of-the-art cervical cancer screening programs in key sites. As part of the BRIDGE project, Roche is working with governments and other partners of national healthcare systems in Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Peru to implement comprehensive cervical cancer elimination programs. BRIDGE offers an end to end adaptable solution to maximize clinical impact. It consists of molecular biology and pathology laboratory instruments for screening, triage and diagnosis, educational programs aimed at laboratory professionals, doctors and patients and awareness materials for the general audiences.
In July 2021 we joined the Go Further partnership that aims to reduce new cervical cancer cases by 95% among women with HIV in twelve African countries which have some of the highest rates of HIV prevalence and cervical cancer incidence in the world. It invests in partner countries to integrate and scale-up cervical cancer screening and treatment services within existing platforms for HIV treatment and women’s health. Go Further was established in 2018 as an innovative public-private partnership between the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the George W. Bush Institute and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). One of the first countries we are working in under the partnership is
As a key part of Mozambique’s effort to reach the WHO’s 2030 cervical cancer elimination goals, Roche is supporting Project SALVA, a public-private partnership with the Ministry of Health and other partners including the Center of Disease Control (CDC). Project SALVA is a comprehensive screen, triage and treat approach using HPV DNA testing, reflex testing through visual inspection and thermal ablative treatment if required. We anticipate that learnings from Project SALVA will inform cervical cancer prevention scale-up in countries throughout Africa, as well as other LMICs. During the initial phase, the project aims to screen 16,000 HIV-positive women with our HPV tests while funding complementary technologies such as mobile colposcopy and thermal-ablation devices, providing training to healthcare workers and educational and awareness materials.
Kenya has one of the world’s highest incidences of cervical cancer:
Ongoing efforts within the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum have
provided a path forward towards cervical cancer elimination since 2013. In August 2021, the
To date, as part of the Bridge program in LATAM, first key achievements include:
Brazil: healthcare professionals and patients have become engaged through education; screening coverage has increased from 30% to >80% (~95%) in women aged 25-64 years; digital solutions have reduced previous pap testing waste from 63% to <1%; and the new Brazil medical society HPV test guidelines have reached over 40,000 ob/gyn healthcare professionals. According to a
Chile: more than 2,000 healthcare professionals have been trained, including 90% of all primary care, and ten molecular diagnostic centers have been established.
The WHO estimates that achieving and sustaining the 90:70:90 targets set for countries as part of the cervical cancer elimination strategy will avert 74 million new cases of cervical cancer, and 62 million deaths in 78 low and middle income countries in the coming decades.