Urine the 'golden sample' - Why is urine so exciting in cervical cancer prevention?

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podcast: Urine the 'golden sample'

We recently had the opportunity to interview Dr. Severien Van Keer, a post-doc researcher at the VAXINFECTIO research group, at the University of Antwerp. Her research primarily focuses on Human Papillomavirus (HPV) detection in first-void urine, and the potential of urine as a sample type for cervical cancer screening. Her research also includes Novosanis' Colli-Pee®, a first-void urine collection device.  

You can listen to the full interview through our podcast: 


Here are some of the key highlights from our discussion: 

Cytology-based screening for cervical cancer through clinician-taken Pap smears has several limitations and women are often reluctant to participate in regular screening. Self-collection techniques have been recommended to improve screening uptake. HPV-based cervical cancer screening has shown to be more effective and efficient to increase participation in screening programs.  

Women have shown a significantly higher preference to urine as a sample type for hrHPV testing, as the method is  non-invasive and suitable for home-collection. Urine-based HPV testing has also shown similar sensitives to other sampling methods.  

Tune in to hear Dr. Severien Van Keer’s view on some of the following questions: 

  • Can you tell us something about your research on urine and HPV detection?
  • Why is HPV DNA detection replacing cytology as a primary cervical cancer screening test? 
  • What impact do you want to establish in the field of cervical cancer prevention? 
  • Can you explain the differences between urine and swabs for HPV detection? 
  • Are there pre-analytical requirements for the use of urine in HPV detection? 
  • What feedback did you receive from the physicians you cooperated with? And what feedback did you receive from the participating women? 


Read more about first-void urine collected with Colli-Pee® in HPV research