Australian Women Supporting Cervical Cancer Research

5 June 2019 | Cancer Council NSW

Author: Chloe Jennett, Compass Trial Project Coordinator

Have you heard the news? Cervical cancer is on the way out!

Thanks to an early national adoption of HPV vaccination and a world class screening program, Australia is on track to be the first country to eliminate cervical cancer as a public health problem, by as early as 2035! If the rest of the world were to follow our example, we could see the disease eliminated worldwide by 2100.

This is incredible news, but it doesn’t mean we can rest on our laurels and wait for it to happen. This Medical Research Week is a great opportunity to shine a spotlight on the Compass Trial, Australia’s largest ever clinical trial gathering data to optimise the current HPV screening test and better protect future generations of Australian women.

Compass is the first randomised control trial, the gold standard for data in the scientific community, looking into how the HPV test can be most effective in women who have been vaccinated against HPV and those who haven’t. The information gathered in Compass will help to improve our very successful cervical screening program. Looking forwards, this could mean less frequent screening for women, especially as the risk of cervical cancer decreases over time.

As the first country to offer publicly funded HPV vaccine, Australia is leading the way in this area. Compass is a world first trial which will help us understand how HPV vaccination and screening can work together to best prevent cervical cancer. These findings could then be used globally to help inform the efforts of other nations who seek to replicate our success.

The NSW portion of the Compass Trial has just kicked off. If you are interested in supporting cervical cancer research, please contact one of the following participating practices to arrange an appointment:

But why should women consider getting involved in the Compass Trial?

Well, it is important for women over 25 to have regular cervical screening anyway, signing up for Compass means your results can be used for something extra meaningful – to improve screening and help others. It’s easy to get involved and the cervical smear is taken in the same way as if you were participating in the national program. Participating women will then be asked to return in either 2.5 years or 5 years depending on the trial group they are assigned to.

This Medical Research Week consider being a part of the Compass Trial. At its heart, it’s just women helping other women. Join a group of over 75,000, all with the aim of improving cervical cancer prevention in Australia.

If you need more information you can phone Compass staff on free call: 1800 611 635

This study has been approved by the Bellberry Human Research Ethics Committee (application number- 2014-11-592) and is conducted in accordance with the NHMRC National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Research.