Stanford Cancer Institute

SCI Innovation Awardee

March 2023 - SCI Women’s Cancer Center Innovation Award

A $50,000 Stanford Women's Cancer Center Innovation award was awarded to Kay Daniels, MD, Clinical Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Paul Blumenthal, MD, MPH, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, for their project entitled “Feasibility of community based same day cervical cancer screening for refuge women in Tijuana, Mexico.”

To truly expand cervical cancer prevention, we must move away from cytology as the screening tool. Cytological screening test requires infrastructure to collect, store, and process samples, many resources that are not available in low-resource settings. Alternatives to pap smears now exist. For example, Rapid HPV screening is a screening for the HPV virus that has been found to be very effective at identifying patients at risk for developing cervical dysplasia. With the development of rapid, low-cost, point-of-care tests for HPV and the validation of self-swabbing, effective screening in low-resource settings is now feasible. Automated visual technology is another alternative to a pap smear. If HPV testing is positive, the next challenge has been the availability of trained staff for the next step in the evaluation of the cervix for dysplasia - colposcopy. The recent development of automated visual technology has the capacity to expedite training and allow nonexperts to provide effective colposcopy evaluation and, when appropriate, link testing and diagnosis with treatment. The combined use of these two innovative but validated technologies is the basis for this project. Understanding the barriers to the development of this new initiative in a low-resource setting is important in order to overcome potential challenges and achieve scale-up.