MPs support decision to introduce HPV test to aid in the fight to prevent cervical cancer
Mar 30 2009

MPs support decision to introduce HPV test to aid in the fight to prevent cervical cancer

Crawley, U.K., March 30, 2009 --- A total of 65 MPs have signed a Parliamentary petition known as an Early Day Motion (EDM) expressing their support for the human papillomavirus (HPV) testing of women, as a means of reducing the incidence of cervical cancer in the UK and saving lives. Following the tragic death of Jade Goody, the EDM, which has achieved cross-party support, has highlighted the fact that the UK is one of the only countries in Europe not to follow the European Guidelines for Quality Assurance in Cervical Cancer Screening (Second Edition) to use a validated HPV test as a follow-up to borderline or mild smear test results (referred to as ASCUS triage testing in some countries), or as a screening method following treatment for cervical abnormalities.

"The current awareness of cervical cancer has created genuine concern about the Government's commitment to tackling this preventable disease" said Dr Ian Gibson MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer and Member of Parliament for the Norwich North constituency, who submitted the EDM. "On average, 3 women a day in the UK will die from cervical cancer. Introducing HPV testing as a follow-up for women with borderline or mild abnormal smear test results will help identify the women most at risk of developing this disease and will support the fight to eliminate cervical cancer in the UK."

Worldwide, cervical cancer affects more than 500,000 women annually and, after breast cancer, is the second most common malignancy found in women. Cervical cancer is caused by "high-risk" types of HPV, which are sexually transmitted. It's estimated that 80 percent of women will get an HPV infection at some point in their lives. In most cases, the infection goes away or is suppressed by the body without causing problems, but infections that persist can cause abnormal cells to form which may develop into cervical cancer if not detected and treated early.

A Government-funded report published in 2006 on ‘Lifetime effects, costs, and cost effectiveness of testing for human papillomavirus to manage low grade cytological abnormalities: results of the NHS pilot studies' predicted that using the HPV Test, in conjunction with the existing cytology for women with borderline or mild or abnormal smear test results, would reduce lifetime repeat smears by 52 - 86% and remain cost effective despite an increase in referrals to colposcopy.

Following the success of this initial NHS pilot study, a further pilot study was rolled out in January 2008 to assess the best way to implement HPV testing in the UK for triage of borderline and mild abnormalities and to follow-up women who have been treated for cervical abnormalities. This pilot is due to finish at the end of March 2009 with publication of the results expected at the end of the year.

Professor Albert Singer, Professor of Gynaecological Research, University of London, comments, "A single HPV test following mild or borderline smear test results can identify the women who are genuinely at risk of cervical disease and speed their referral for follow-up, saving time and reducing anxiety for women. It is important that the results of the pilot studies are published without delay, and that funding be made available so that the roll-out of HPV testing for follow-up cases takes place across the UK sooner rather than later, if more lives are to be saved."


QIAGEN N.V., a Netherlands holding company, is the leading global provider of sample and assay technologies. Sample technologies are used to isolate and process DNA, RNA and proteins from biological samples such as blood or tissue. Assay technologies are used to make such isolated biomolecules visible. QIAGEN has developed and markets more than 500 sample and assay products as well as automated solutions for such consumables. The company provides its products to molecular diagnostics laboratories, academic researchers, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, and applied testing customers for purposes such as forensics, animal or food testing and pharmaceutical process control. QIAGEN's assay technologies include one of the broadest panels of molecular diagnostic tests available worldwide. This panel includes the digene  HPV Test, which is regarded as the "gold standard" in testing for high risk types of human papillomavirus (HPV), the primary cause of cervical cancer. QIAGEN employs more than 3,000 people in over 30 locations worldwide. Further information about QIAGEN can be found at

About the digene HPV test

QIAGEN's digene HPV Test, which uses the company's proprietary Hybrid Capture 2 (hc2) technology, uses advanced molecular technology to identify the presence of the genetic code (DNA) of 13 high-risk, cancer causing types of HPV. More than 40 million tests for carcinogenic HPV have been performed with the digene HPV Test.  FDA-approved since 1999, the digene HPV Test has been published in more than 300 peer-reviewed journal articles and studied in clinical trials involving more than 825,000 women worldwide.  Its well-validated clinical value has helped HPV testing develop as the new standard-of-care for cervical cancer screening.  QIAGEN's digene HPV Test is recognized as the "gold-standard" in HPV testing.

About The Early Day Motion

The Early Day Motion has been signed by the following 64 MPs:

Gibson, Ian; Hoyle, Lindsay;  Spink, Bob; Russell, Bob;  Scott, Lee;  Jones, Lynne;  George, Andrew;  Bottomley, Peter;  Singh, Marsha;  Holmes, Paul;  Iddon, Brian;  Jackson, Glenda; McDonnell, Alasdair;  Moffatt, Laura;  Campbell, Gregory;  Campbell, Ronnie;  Caton, Martin;  Clapham, Michael;  Cryer, Ann;  Dismore, Andrew;  Durkan, Mark;  Francis, Hywel;  Wareing, Robert N;  Weir, Mike;  Willis, Phil;  McGovern, Jim;  Hunter, Mark;  Pugh, John;  Simpson, Alan;  Hopkins, Kelvin;  Lloyd, Tony;  Burgon, Colin;  Crausby, David;  Dean, Janet;  Drew, David;  Hemming, John; Sheridan, Jim;  Anderson, Janet;  Bercow, John;  Howells, Kim;  Hancock, Mike;  Williams, Betty;  Leech, John;  Prentice, Gordon;  McCafferty, Chris;  Corbyn, Jeremy; Devine, Jim;  Davies, Dai;  McGuire, Anne;  Begg, Anne;  Vis, Rudi; Riordan, Linda;  Rowen, Paul;  Jenkins, Brian;  Llwyd, Elfyn;  McDonnell, John;  Gerrard, Neil;  Hamilton, David; Farron, Timothy;  McGrady, Eddie;  Kramer, Susan;  Williams, Mark;  Hermon, Lady;  Heyes, David.  

The EDM reads:

That this House welcomes International Women's Day on 8 March 2009; acknowledges that, on average, three women a day in the UK will die from cervical cancer; further acknowledges that the UK is one of the only countries in Europe not to provide human papilloma virus (HPV) testing to women routinely and not to follow the EU Quality Assurance Recommendations to use HPV testing as follow-up to borderline or mild smears and following treatment for cervical abnormalities; believes that making HPV testing available as a routine follow-up for all women would ultimately reduce the incidence of cervical cancer and save lives; highlights a Government-funded study published in 2006, Lifetime effects, costs and cost-effectiveness of testing for human.


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