Cervical Cancer Prevention Focus of New $11 Million Grant

May 28, 2019
Cervical Cancer Awareness Graphic

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A major public health initiative aimed at preventing cervical cancer in at-risk Appalachian families from Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia is underway with support from an $11 million National Cancer Institute grant to The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James).

The OSUCCC – James is collaborating with 10 health systems throughout Appalachian Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia to conduct this research in close partnership with the University of Kentucky, West Virginia University and the University of Virginia.

Led by Electra Paskett, PhD, leader of the OSUCCC – James Cancer Control Program, this new initiative builds upon a long history of collaborative research and community partnerships. The effort will focus on reducing the burden of cervical cancer in at-risk Appalachian communities by specifically targeting the primary causes of cervical cancer: tobacco smoking, human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and lack of cervical cancer screening.

This new project will test the effectiveness of an integrated cervical cancer prevention program that is implemented by clinics/health centers consisting of three interventions: nicotine replacement therapy and smoking cessation counseling services, a method of at-home HPV screening and a medical practice-based intervention to improve HPV vaccination rates among patients aged 11 to 12 and 13 to 26 years of age in Appalachia-based health centers.

“This region has one of the highest rates of cervical cancer and cervical cancer deaths in the United States. We know that smoking tobacco products, HPV infection and lack of timely cervical cancer screening play a significant role in these exceptionally high rates,” says Paskett, Marion N. Rowley professor at The Ohio State University College of Medicine and College of Public Health.

Paskett notes there is a tremendous opportunity to reduce the burden of cervical cancer through public education, especially as it relates to the HPV vaccine as a means of cancer prevention.

“In the Appalachian area of the United States, vaccination rates are still far below the national average, and studies have shown the HPV vaccine is effective for not only reducing rates of cervical cancer but also other forms of HPV-linked cancers that are on the rise,” says Paskett. “These health disparities in underserved communities are not new – they are long-standing and must be addressed in a systematic, sustainable way. We hope to do just that through the type of intentional community collaboration established in this study.

To learn more about OSUCCC – James cancer control research, visit cancer.osu.edu.

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About the OSUCCC – James

The OSUCCC – James strives to create a cancer-free world by integrating scientific research with excellence in education and patient-centered care, a strategy that leads to better methods of prevention, detection and treatment. Ohio State is one of only 50 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers and one of only a few centers funded by the NCI to conduct both phase I and phase II clinical trials on novel anticancer drugs sponsored by the NCI. As the cancer program’s 356-bed adult patient-care component, The James is one of the top cancer hospitals in the nation as ranked by U.S. News & World Report and has achieved Magnet® designation, the highest honor an organization can receive for quality patient care and professional nursing practice. At 21 floors and with more than 1.1 million square feet, The James is a transformational facility that fosters collaboration and integration of cancer research and clinical cancer care. For more information, visit cancer.osu.edu.

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