VU University Medical Center (VUmc), Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Prof. Chris Meijer (left); Prof. Peter Snijders (middle); Dr. Hans Berkhof (right)
The VUmc group is among the leading research groups on HPV and cervical cancer and has contributed to the field on topics regarding laboratory test development and evaluation; clinical trials; and HPV transmission modelling. Several large cervical cancer screening studies were performed by the group, using the GP5+/6+ PCR-EIA assay, which was developed at the VUmc (POBASCAM, VusaScreen). On the basis of the results of these screening trials, the department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics has developed HPV transmission models and micro simulation models to evaluate the impact of HPV screening and vaccination on the cancer incidence and to evaluate the cost-effectiveness both within the Dutch and European setting. The Dutch modelling work has been used by the national health council to decide on the implementation of universal prophylactic vaccination and primary HPV screening.
The VUmc is the consortium coordinator and the work package leader of the HPV self-sampling study (WP2). In addition, VUmc is a site investigator of the study evaluating the feasibility and acceptability of HPV vaccination of women in screening ages (WP4).
Institute Catala d’Oncologia, Spain
Prof. Xavier Bosch
ICO is a public organisation that is dedicated to the fight against cancer. The Cancer Epidemiology Research Program (CERP) at ICO is devoted to research on the causes, epidemiology, early diagnosis and prevention of cancer. The Unit provides advice in the design, development and assessment of cancer prevention strategies such as providing assessment of population-based cancer screening programs, effectiveness and impact of health promotion and cancer prevention measures. HPV and HPV-related cancers have been a priority research area at CERP for the last twenty years. The group has participated in major research projects that have led to the epidemiological evidence that HPV is the necessary cause of cervical cancer. The group is involved in several randomized clinical trials of HPV vaccines since 2002.
ICO is the work package leader of the study evaluating the feasibility and acceptability of HPV vaccination of women in screening ages (WP4), and of the work package dedicated to the dissemination of information (WP7).
University of Tampere (UTA), Finland
Prof. Matti Lehtinen
The University of Tampere is a multi-discipline university with a special reputation in research on societal phenomena. The key units of the University of Tampere are the schools where the researchers and research groups are operating. HPV vaccine studies conducted by UTA include the world´s largest trial on effectiveness of both-sex vaccination against the human papillomavirus (HPV) following sizeable phase III trials with both the bivalent and the quadrivalent vaccines. A phase IV effectiveness trial involves 80,000 1992-1995 born adolescents and evaluates the overall and indirect (herd immunity) effectiveness of vaccinating girls only vs. girls and boys in the reduction of prevalence of high-risk (hr) HPV types in a community randomized trial.
UTA is the work package leader of the trial comparing the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of different policies for screening in women vaccinated at young ages (WP3). In addition, UTA collaborates in the trial comparing self-sampling with physician-based HPV sampling (WP2). UTA is furthermore a site investigator of the study evaluating the feasibility and acceptability of HPV vaccination of women in screening ages (WP4).
Queen Mary & Westfield College, University of London (QMUL), United Kingdom
Prof. Jack Cuzick
The Centre for Cancer Prevention is part of the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine (Queen Mary University of London), and funded mainly by Cancer Research UK (CRUK). The Centre incorporates clinicians, scientists, molecular epidemiologists and statisticians, all with an interest and expertise in various aspects of cancer prevention. The Centre for Cancer Prevention’s focus is on the evaluation of methods for the prevention of cancer. In cervix cancer the focus is on using knowledge about HPV infection to reduce risk, both via vaccination and better screening. The Centre has participated in and is currently participating in vaccine trials and in screening studies. In addition, the Centre is looking at the development of new testing approaches.
QMUL is the co-principle investigator of the study evaluating the feasibility and acceptability of HPV vaccination of women in screening ages (WP4).
Karolinska Institutet (KI), Sweden
Prof. Joakim Dillner
KI is one of the leading medical universities in Europe and it accounts for some 40 percent of all medical research at universities throughout Sweden. Since 1901 the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet has selected the Nobel laureates in Physiology or Medicine. KI offers a wide range of state-of-the-art core facilities, including a national large-scale bio bank facility, as well as comprehensive administrative and technical support. At KI, the Department of Medical Epidemiology & Biostatistics is one of the largest epidemiological departments in Europe and provides a state-of-the-art departmental support in both database management and biostatistics. Since 1989, the department has conducted Human Papillomavirus (HPV) research in the areas of molecular biology, immunology and vaccinology, clinical virology and epidemiology. One of the first randomized trial of HPV screening was coordinated by KI (Swedescreen). Other ongoing HPV-related projects include biobank- and registry-based follow-up studies of HPV vaccination (since 1999), the International Papillomavirus Reference Center (www.hpvcenter.se), the National Quality Registry of Cervical Cancer Prevention, the Nordic Information for Action eScience Center of Excellence (www.nordicehealth.se), and the BioBanking and Molecular Resource Infrastructure of Sweden (www.bbmri.se).
KI is the work package leader of the evaluation and further design of optimal interventions by means of dynamic transmission models (WP5). In addition, it is a site investigator of the study evaluating screening strategies following HPV vaccination (WP3). KI is furthermore a site investigator of the study evaluating the feasibility and acceptability of HPV vaccination of women in screening ages (WP4).
Institut Scientifique de Sante Publique (WIV-ISP), Belgium
Dr. Marc Arbyn
The Scientific Institute of Public Health (Brussels, Belgium) is a national research institution providing information, expertise and support to regional, national, and European health authorities, public health stake holders and other research agencies. On the basis of scientific research, the Institute formulates recommendations and solutions. The Institute monitors the health status and assesses determinants of health of the Belgian population by surveys, analyses of databases from health services and cohort studies. The WIV-ISP develops advanced solutions for the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of current and emerging diseases, and assesses health risks related to life-style related factors and/or evolving from exposure to environmental hazards. The Unit Cancer Epidemiology is specialized in systematic reviews, Cochrane reviews and meta-analysis of the accuracy of cancer screening tests, triage tests and confirmation tests, adverse effects of treatment of treatment of cancer precursor lesions, efficacy of screening and prophylactic HPV vaccines. Other experience: analyses of time-space trends of cancer incidence and mortality data; age-cohort-period analyses. This also includes statistical analysis of large population-based databases allowing precise computation of screening and vaccination coverage.
WIV-ISP is co-principle investigator of the work package which involves the creation of a standardized data warehouse of European trials on HPV screening (WP6). Its main role is to perform meta-analyses on topics including the accuracy of screen- and triage tests, cumulative incidence of cervical cancer and cervical cancer precursors according screen- and triage test results, efficacy of screening and vaccination and adverse effects. In addition, WIV-ISP is a site investigator of the study evaluating the feasibility and acceptability of HPV vaccination of women in screening ages (WP4).
Citta della salute e della scienza di Torino (AOT), Turin, Italy
Center for Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention
Dr. Guglielmo Ronco
The “Città della salute e della scienza di Torino”, is a large public Hospital and University centre in Turin, Italy,recently instituted by merging and re-organising different hospitals including one specialised in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. The Centro di Riferimento per l’Epidemiologia e la Prevenzione Oncologica (CPO) has branches of descriptive epidemiology (including cancer registry), etiological epidemiology, primary and secondary prevention and clinical epidemiology. CPO has wide experience in research on cancer screening and monitoring and implementation of screening programmes. In particular it has coordinated two large multicentre randomised controlled trials, one on new technologies (including HPV) for cervical cancer screening (NTCC). CPO has collaborated to the development of Italian guidelines on screening and of the European Guidelines for quality assurance in cervical cancer screening.
CPO is the work package leader of the work package which involves the creation of a standardized data warehouse of European trials on HPV screening (WP6). In addition, it is a site investigator of the study evaluating screening strategies following HPV vaccination (WP3). AOT is furthermore a site investigator of the study evaluating the feasibility and acceptability of HPV vaccination of women in screening ages (WP4).
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), France
Dr. Silvia Franceschi (left); Dr. Iacopo Baussano (right)
The objective of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is to promote international collaboration in cancer research biostatistics, to identify the causes of cancer and adopt preventive measures in order to reduce the burden of disease and associated suffering. A significant feature of the IARC is its expertise in coordinating research across countries and organizations; its independent role as an international organization facilitates this activity. The Infections and Cancer Epidemiology (ICE) Group at IARC includes epidemiologists of different backgrounds (medical, biological and statistical) from many countries. Their goal is to elucidate the contribution of infectious agents to the aetiology of cancer. Since its institution the ICE Group at IARC has been conducting worldwide leading research projects focused on the epidemiology of carcinogenic HPV infections and related cancers. Research activities focused on descriptive and etiologic epidemiology and HPV-related cancers control. The staff members have developed extensive experience in conducting and analysing epidemiological studies.
IARC is the co-principle investigator of the evaluation and further design of optimal interventions by means of dynamic transmission models (WP5).
Univerza v Ljubljani (UL), Slovenia
Prof. Mario Poljak
The Laboratory for Molecular Microbiology of the Institute of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana (UL) is the leading centre in the area of HPV research in Central/Eastern Europe. Its current main research topics are development and clinical evaluation of HPV molecular tests and worldwide molecular heterogeneity of low-risk HPV genotypes. The Laboratory currently hosts five fulltime postdoc researches and PhD candidates. In the last 20 years, Slovenian HPV researches have been actively and successfully incorporated in the international HPV community and have contributed significant achievements in the field. UL coordinated the first large-scale HPV Prevalence study in the Central/Eastern Europe in the period from December 2009 to August 2010, in which 4,507 women attending routine organized national cervical screening program within a network of 16 outpatient gynecology services with nationwide geographical coverage were enrolled.
UL is a site investigator of the study evaluating the feasibility and acceptability of HPV vaccination of women in screening ages (WP4) and of the evaluation and further design of optimal interventions by means of dynamic transmission models (WP5).
Danish Cancer Society (DCS), Denmark
Prof. Susanne Krüger Kjaer
The Danish Cancer Society (DCS) is non-governmental non-profit organization. The main aims are to prevent the development of cancer, to improve patient’s chances of successful recovery, and to limit the physical, psychological and social side effects of cancer. The main activities are within research, patient support and prevention. The Danish Cancer Society’s research pivots two areas: biological, experimental research and epidemiological research. The Danish Cancer Society has more than 400,000 members and many volunteers in local units in all regions of the country. The Danish Cancer Society Research Centre within DCS employs around 120 persons with various educational backgrounds brought together under the auspices of the Danish Cancer Society in Copenhagen, Denmark, and devoted to research in cancer epidemiology and biology. The centre is organised in 6 research areas/units: “Viruses, Lifestyle and Genes”, “Diet, Genes and Environment” “Survivorship”, “Cell Death and Metabolism”, “Genome Integrity” and “Statistics, Bioinformatics and Registry”. Thus, the centre covers many aspects of cancer research. The unit “Virus, Lifestyle and Genes” has a long tradition for population-based, multidisciplinary studies covering both lifestyle factors, molecular epidemiology and prognostic factors.
DCS is a site investigator of the study evaluating the feasibility and acceptability of HPV vaccination of women in screening ages (WP4).
University of Reims Champagne_Ardenne (URCA), France
Prof. Christine Clavel
The University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne (URCA), linked to the CHU of Reims (Hospital University Center), is a key player in France on human papillomavirus and cervical cancer. URCA has been involved in HPV-related research since 1996. Initially focusing on cervical cancer and in recent years also in oropharyngeal cancers. URCA has conducted or participated in epidemiological studies, HPV primary screening studies and studies evaluating screening and diagnosis methodologies. The Cellular Biology Unit of the Laboratory Pol Bouin has gained expertise in assessing DNA ploidy profiles and viral parameters (such as genotyping, viral load, gene expression and variants). URCA is a member of the committee advising the government on HPV and cervical cancer screening guidelines (INCa, ANAES/HAS). Furthermore, URCA is the founder member of the French association on HPV and Polyomavirus (AFIPP).
UCRA is a site investigator of the study evaluating the feasibility and acceptability of HPV vaccination of women in screening ages (WP4).
Stadt Wolfsburg (SW), Germany
Prof. Karl Ulrich Petry
Klinikum Wolfsburg (KW) within legal entity Stadt Wolfsburg is the public hospital of the city and region of Wolfsburg and an academic teaching hospital of Hannover University, Germany. KW´s centre of gynaecologic oncology includes a large colposcopy clinic and a research center that already runs a primary HPV screening program (WOLPHSCREEN) since 2006 with more than 21,000 participants aged 30+ years and an epidemiological trial (WOLVES) with 2,000 women aged 20 to 27 years. KW is the most experienced German center in primary HPV testing for cervical cancer screening, Moreover, KW is involved in basic epidemiological science on HPV transmission, the role of HPV genotypes and cofactors in younger women.
SW is a site investigator of the study evaluating the feasibility and acceptability of HPV vaccination of women in screening ages (WP4).