Graduate student Layla Claure presented at the International Papillomavirus Conference (IPVC) in Washington, D.C., on Friday.
During her time at the conference, Claure said she was able to learn about the innovative research being conducted around the world as well as the future work that needs to be done for HPV vaccination, cervical cancer screening, and other HPV-related cancers.
“It was a great experience that allowed me to further understand the fight against cervical cancer in a global context,” she said.
Claure’s research aims to prevent cervical cancer, an easily preventable disease, in vulnerable populations that are highly impacted by the lack of screening for HPV.
HPV primary testing is now part of clinical guidelines and is highly encouraged for cervical cancer screening. It enables the adoption of patient self-sampling and rapid HPV testing, which would help reach marginalized populations and reduce barriers to screening while increasing screening coverage in general.
Claure’s research in developing self-sampling kits would allow women to collect their own samples for cervical cancer screening, which could be done at home or in a clinical setting.
What sets her research in self-sampling at the HTQL lab apart from existing research is her consultation with diverse stakeholders during the development process. She and her team have consulted multiple stakeholders’ perspectives, including clinicians, community health workers, patients, and community members in Lake County, Indiana, before developing tools that could increase accessibility to cervical cancer screening.
“No woman should die from cervical cancer,” Claure said. “It is a preventable disease, and by doing this research, we can reach vulnerable populations that are highly impacted by lack of screening.”