Throwback to an exciting EUROGIN 2021

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Novosanis hosted a virtual booth at Eurogin 2021, an international conference focusing on Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Cervical cancer screening has been significantly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hospitals reached capacity in many areas worldwide, and patient visits got postponed as well as routine checkups to healthcare facilities and physician offices due to the fear of COVID-19. Finding innovative methods to continue screening is critical to reach more women. Self-collection solutions for HPV testing as the primary cervical screening method can allow increased uptake not only during the pandemic, but even beyond.

Urine, particularly, first-void urine, has potential to screen for cervical cancer and was discussed during various sessions at the conference. Additionally, results of many studies using our device, Colli-Pee® were presented during scientific and poster sessions.

Colli-Pee® can be prefilled with Novosanis’ Urine Conservation Medium (UCM), which allows for preservation of HPV DNA in urine. The device is user-friendly, and is suited for standardized and volumetric collection of first-void urine, offering scope for home based self-sampling.

 

Novosanis presented 3 posters on urine and HPV:

  • Post-collection stability of human papillomavirus DNA in first-void urine
    Presenter: Vanessa Vankerckhoven
    Self and at-home collection have shown to improve cervical cancer screening uptake. Colli-Pee® can be prefilled with UCM, allows for preservation of analytes in urine. This improves sample stability and allows devices shipped via postal mail to the laboratory. The aim of our study was to assess the effect of environmental conditions on the degradation of urinary analytes such as HPV DNA. The results showed that home-based collection and postal shipment of firstvoid urine samples for HPV-based cervical cancer screening is feasible when UCM is used as a preservative. Time of storage and temperature had no effect on sample preservation when UCM was used.

Click here to view the full poster

  • Preference and acceptance of HPV self-sampling: Gaining insights on urine as a sample type
    Presenter: David Faster
    Although cervical cancer screening has successfully reduced incidence and mortality, a high proportion of women do not attend regular cervical cancer screening programs. Based on this literature review, urine was identified as the most accepted and preferred sample type for HPV-based cervical cancer screening. All the discussed studies evaluated sample acceptance and preference in women who are already undergoing a Pap smear or colposcopy. Additional data should be collected and evaluated on actual preference and perceptions on urine self-sampling of cervical screening non-attenders. Moreover, the cost-effectiveness of these strategies should also be evaluated and compared.

Click here to view the full poster

  • Feedback from a colposcopy referral population on the use of Colli-Pee® for HPV-based cervical cancer screening (CASUS)
    Presenter: Koen Beyers
    The CASUS project aims to develop the first fully molecular cervical cancer screen and triage approach, based on first-void urine. As part of this project, a clinical validation study is in progress, where the goal is to recruit 300 women who are referred to colposcopy. This population also provides user feedback on Colli-Pee® Small Volumes and participation in cervical cancer screening programs. The aim of this study is to provide insights on usability of Colli-Pee® Small Volumes. The results showed that 98% of women answered ‘Yes’ to the question if they would use Colli-Pee® Small Volumes again and 97% of women answered that Colli-Pee® Small Volumes was easy-to-use.

Click here to view the full poster

 

Next to these posters our colleague Kyle MacDonald also presented data on the collection and stabilization of urine samples with the Colli-Pee® device and reagent to facilitate urinary microbiome studies.

There were also sessions with experts and researchers in the field, including Professor Jack Cuzick, Professor Clementina Cocuzza, Professor Jennifer Smith, Doctor Severien Van Keer, Professor Alex Vorsters and Professor Marc Arbyn. They highlighted various aspects of urine and HPV detection.

 

Below are some of our takeaway messages:

Screening:

  • Comparison of initial stream urine with a vaginal self-sample for HPV testing in a referral population
    Jack Cuzick (United Kingdom) Professor Cuzick shared data from his study. The results highlighted that urine performed well and women found urine easiest to collect and were more confident they had taken the sample correctly.
  • EU-VALHUDES: Validation of Human papillomavirus assays and collection devices for HPV testing and preliminary results on urine samples
    Clementina Cocuzza (Italy): Professor Cocuzza presented data from her ongoing European VALHUDES study. The results confirmed that first-void urine with Colli-Pee® performed well.
  • Clinical performance of Abbott RealTime High Risk HPV and BD Onclarity HPV assay in ColliPee® collected first-void urine using the VALHUDES protocol
    Severien Van Keer (BELGIUM) Dr Van Keer highlighted that home-collected first-void urine is a clinically valid alternative to clinician collected cervical samples for hrHPV DNA detection using the commercially available Abbott RealTime High Risk HPV and BD Onclarity HPV assays.

Read more about HPV-DNA based multiplex real-time PCR assays here

Triage:

  • First-void urine as a biomarker source for triage of high-risk HPV positive women: where do we stand today? Severien Van Keer (BELGIUM)
    Dr Van Keer discussed the potential of developing a complete cervical cancer screening solution based on first-void urine self-sampling. First-void urine preserved 2:1 in UCM can allow a full molecular screening and triage strategy based on primary HPV test and methylation marker detection in the same sample.

Post vaccination follow-up:

  • HPV AB testing in First Void Urine Samples pre and post vaccination Alex Vorsters (BELGIUM)
    Professor Vorsters provided data that vaccine-induced HPV antibodies are detectable in FVU collected with Colli-Pee®

 

 We really enjoyed Eurogin 2021. While we miss being at conferences in-person, the event was a way to stay up to date with the latest scientific developments in the field of cervical cancer and other HPV related diseases.