HPV by the numbers: HPV vaccination is an important part of cancer prevention.
As one of the world's largest cancer research centers, MD Anderson is leading the investigation into new methods of cervical cancer prevention, detection and treatment. We’re also offering our cervical cancer expertise to community practitioners to impact patient care worldwide.
Our Innovative Surgery Working Group is setting the new standard of surgical care for women with cervical cancer through groundbreaking, international trials that are pioneering minimally-invasive and fertility-sparing surgical strategies. In a collaboration with eleven institutions around the world, ConCerv is a clinical trial exploring the safety and feasibility of performing conservative surgery (conization or simple hysterectomy) in patients with low-risk, early-stage cervical cancer. This effort is also studying whether we can treat cervical cancer while preserving fertility.
MD Anderson led a multi-institutional clinical trial demonstrating that minimally-invasive surgery is associated with worse survival than open hysterectomy. These findings may impact the surgical guidelines for early-stage cervical cancer.
Another multi-institutional study led by investigators at MD Anderson aims to improve sentinel lymph node detection in women with cervical cancer in an effort to decrease complications and leg swelling associated with full lymph node dissection.
We’re also leading cervical cancer research efforts to find cures for women with rare cervical cancers, such as small and large cell neuroendocrine tumors. Through a prospective, international tumor registry (NeCTuR), women with this disease are being recruited to participate in an effort to better understand this rare and deadly disease.
Research Initiatives for Cervical Cancer
Our commitment to cervical cancer research is echoed through two major initiatives:
HPV-Related Cancers Moon Shot
Our ambitious effort to advance leading-edge prevention research and efforts focused on cervical cancer
Prevention and screening research efforts
Since cervical cancer is almost always preventable, we're developing new screening and diagnostic tools for pre-invasive and early-stage disease. We’re also sharing our prevention and detection knowledge and expertise with healthcare providers around the world.
We were awarded $1.4 million from CPRIT (Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas) to increase screening and preventative treatments for women in the Rio Grande Valley along the southern border of Texas, where the cervical cancer death rate is 30% higher than the rest of the state. Through this grant, women are being educated about the importance of getting screened. The grant also supports our efforts to increase the number of healthcare practitioners trained to perform important preventative procedures on patients that have abnormal pap smear results.
Preventing cervical cancer through vaccination
Almost all cases of cervical cancer are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, for which a safe and effective vaccine currently exists. We're dedicated to preventing HPV-related cancers, such as cervical cancer, through education and awareness initiatives highlighting the importance of HPV vaccination.
To assist low-resource settings around the world in their efforts to prevent and control cervical cancer, we're partnering with Rice University to develop new ways to screen and diagnose pre-cancerous lesions. The innovative devices we're developing, such as the high-resolution microendoscope (HRME), are low-cost so that they can be used in areas with limited healthcare infrastructure.
Through these efforts and other cutting-edge cervical cancer research, MD Anderson has:
- Discovered that minimally-invasive radical hysterectomy is associated with higher recurrence rates and worse overall survival, compared to abdominal radical hysterectomy
- Partnered with Rice University to develop new ways to screen and diagnose cervical cancer in low-resource settings
- Impacted standard of care treatment for early-stage cervical cancer using fertility-sparing procedures and conservative surgical approaches
- Initiated the Information Transfer Demonstration Project to educate healthcare providers and staff on the importance of HPV vaccination
- Mobilized cervical cancer survivors to become advocates for HPV vaccination and cancer screening through advocacy training and educational initiatives
- Contributed to global initiatives supporting the prevention and diagnosis of cervical cancer in low resource communities
- Impacted standard of care by leading the clinical trial that demonstrated chemotherapy in addition to radiation improves patient survival outcomes
Patient outcomes after minimally-invasive surgery
Two MD Anderson studies discover that minimally-invasive radical hysterectomy is associated with higher recurrence rates and worse overall survival for cervical cancer patients.
MD Anderson designated first Project ECHO superhub
MD Anderson will collaborate with and train other academic cancer centers interested in using the telementoring ECHO model to improve patient access to high-quality care.
Joint Endorsement of HPV Vaccine Recommendations
MD Anderson and nation’s cancer centers renew the collaborative effort to raise awareness of the new recommendations and the importance of HPV vaccination.
Promoting Cervical Cancer Screening & Prevention
MD Anderson awarded with state funding for cancer research, prevention and product development programs benefiting underserved women along the Texas-Mexico border.