CERVIVA enters into its next phase of high-quality research on HPV with a new HRB-funded ICE award

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CERVIVA and the National Cancer Registry have recently started a major new programme of research funded by the Health Research Board (HRB). For the past decade, with the support of the HRB and a range of other funders, CERVIVA has addressed some of the key national and international challenges in relation to human papillomavirus and cervical cancer screening. The National Cancer Registry has partnered with CERVIVA since its inception.

The newest award - known as an Interdisciplinary Capacity Enhancement (ICE) award - enables CERVIVA to build on previous research and develop research capacity and expertise in three areas which are under-developed in Ireland: molecular epidemiology, health economics and health psychology. Three major studies are currently underway in relation to cervical screening. In the area of epidemiology, researchers are investigating the potential value of a range of biomarkers in predicting the long-term risk of developing of disease in women with abnormal cervical cytology. In the health economics arm, the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of novel biomarkers are being modelled. In the health psychology strand, investigators are testing a prototype intervention to reduce distress and worries in women following colposcopy and related procedures for abnormal cervical cytology.

The funding will also allow CERVIVA to investigate important emerging issues in relation to human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and head and neck cancer. Researchers on the ICE award will estimate the prevalence of HPV infection in certain groups of the population, to better understand its role in development of head and neck cancer development. They will examine costs and effects of different treatment strategies for HPV-related head and neck cancer. Finally, they will investigate health professionals’ knowledge and clinical behaviours in relation to discussing HPV with head and neck cancer patients.

This exciting programme has significant potential to lead to improvements in health services and population health in Ireland.

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