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College of Nursing researchers work with Mumbai hospital to study cervical cancer

Six researchers from the Ohio State College of Nursing have teamed up with professionals in the Department of Preventive Oncology at Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai to improve Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and cervical cancer screening for women in India. The collaboration was facilitated by Priya Kurle, staff member of Ohio State’s India Gateway – which serves as a catalyst to increase partnerships with international institutions and Ohio-based businesses abroad.

Tata Memorial Hospital’s Department of Preventive Oncology conducts cancer control outreach in urban, semi-urban and rural settings and has implemented a cancer-screening program that allows women to be screened and treated in one visit. The Ohio State team of researchers, led by Usha Menon, centennial professor in the College of Nursing and director of community engagement for the Center for Clinical Translational Sciences, will pilot the addition of HPV testing to this cancer-screening program.

Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers in women worldwide and is primarily caused by HPV infection. There is currently no population-based screening program for HPV or cervical cancer in India. Only 2.6% of Indian women were screened for cervical cancer every three years and out of one million newly diagnosed Indian cancer patients, more than 50% will die within 12 months of diagnosis. This pilot study aims to find cost-effective options for cervical cancer prevention, which can then be replicated and disseminated throughout India. The study is currently under review and expected to start in several months. It will be conducted in the northern suburbs of Mumbai with 227 women ages 35 years and older.