Last week, the Biden Cancer Moonshot hosted the White House Cervical Cancer Forum to recognize Cervical Cancer Awareness Month and spur action on education, prevention, early detection, and treatment.
As part of the Forum, National Cancer Institute (NCI) Director Kimryn Rathmell announced a new NCI-supported trial to drive progress on cervical cancer prevention. The brand new ‘Last Mile’ Initiative, Self-collection for HPV testing to Improve Cervical Cancer Prevention (SHIP) Trial Network aims to test the performance of multiple self-collection devices for HPV, the leading driver of cervical cancer, so that cervical cancer screening can be brought closer to the people in the communities that are behind on screening.
The forum opened with a public session, where patient survivors and advocates shared their lived experiences to ground the forum priorities. “We are here today united by a common mission, to not only effectively diagnose and treat cervical cancer, but to get us on a path to virtually eliminate this disease which, today, impacts more than 600,000 people around the globe each year,” said Deputy Assistant to the President for the Cancer Moonshot, Dr. Danielle Carnival.
Remarks from the NCI Director, Kimryn Rathmell, Deputy U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator for Program Quality for PEPFAR, Dr. Emily Kainne Dokubo, and panels, comprised of leaders from across the cervical cancer community, highlighted work on innovative prevention, early detection, treatment, and care methods, explained the challenges ahead, and discussed opportunities for collaborative efforts to eliminate cervical cancer both locally and around the world.
The forum closed with working sessions to drive new ideas, actions, and collaborations to improve global health outcomes by improving cervical cancer prevention, screening, treatment and care capacity. Topics included:
- Federal coordination on decentralized HPV testing and/or primary HPV testing;
- Strategies to boost HPV vaccination rates domestically and globally;
- Improving equity in outcomes, including developing an effective pathway from screening to diagnosis and treatment;
- Building a blueprint for a global campaign to reduce the burden of cervical cancer in low- and middle-income countries;
- Identifying novel funding mechanisms to support major collaborative global initiatives; and
- Bolstering health care infrastructure and capacity to ensure sustainability and scalability of global solutions.