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, Reilly, Catherine Smoking linked with cervical pre-cancer. (27 Mar 2013)

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Catherine Reilly spoke with TCD’s Dr Cara Martin about new joint research from teams at Trinity College Dublin and the Coombe, which has shown that women who smoke are at greater risk of HPV infection.

The work of the CERVIVA research consortium at Trinity College Dublin and the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital has recently made headlines after one of its studies demonstrated that women with a detectable nicotine metabolite called cotinine in their urine sample were at a higher risk of acquiring a human papilloma virus (HPV) infection — the main cause of cervical cancer — than those who were not exposed to tobacco smoke.

CERVIVA is a multi-investigator project established in 2005 with the aim of advancing high-quality, peer-reviewed research into the delivery of cervical screening services to women in Ireland. Principal investigators are Dr Cara Martin and Prof John O’Leary, both of Trinity College Dublin and the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital.

Part of new CERVIVA research starting next month will examine the utility of panels of second-round biomarkers for stratifying women who are HPV positive from a primary HPV screening test, into those women who are at higher risk of developing a pre-cancerous lesion, from those at little or no risk.

This research is part of a wider HRB-funded project within CERVIVA titled ‘Cerviva2: Building Capacity and Advancing Research and Patient Care in Cervical Screening and Other HPV-associated Diseases in Ireland’.

“We were initially funded in 2005 by a Health Research Board programme grant in the area of health services research to look at better ways of managing women with cervical abnormalities — abnormal smears, essentially,” Dr Martin told Irish Medical Times. “We’ve been looking particularly at areas such as testing for human papilloma virus as a way of improving how we manage women with abnormal smears presenting in our colposcopy clinics in Ireland.”

Since 2005, CERVIVA has leveraged additional funding from the HRB, the Irish Cancer Society, Friends of the Coombe and the EU FP7 programme and currently these are its main funders.....


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