The picture of the week
World Cancer Congress, Geneva, Switzerland
It was an honor to present some of the preliminary findings from a study 'Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) of the Thermal Coagulator (TA) vs Cryotherapy and vs LLETZ to Prevent Cervical Neoplasia in VIA Positive Women in Low and Middle Income Countries' which we (UNC) have been implementing in 6 MOH facilities in Zambia with support from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)/WHO and NIH-USA at the World Cancer Congress (WCC) which was held in Geneva, Switzerland from 18th to 20th October 2022.
The World Cancer Congress is a major international health conference that encourages effective knowledge transfer and the exchange of best practices amongst global cancer control and health experts. The event aims to strengthen the action and impact of the cancer community on national, regional and international levels through its educational programme which spans the full spectrum of cancer control - from prevention and treatment to palliative care. I presented on the treatment success rate after thermal ablation of the cervix stratified by HIV status. Our findings revealed that treatment success (TS) among women who are HIV positive was low- n~ 539/937 (56%) compared to HIV negative women - n~627/743 (84%). For those who were HPV negative, TS was ≥ 90% regardless of their HIV status. TS for HIV-negative but HPV positive women was 67%. TS among WLHIV was further reduced by coinfection with HPV (40%). With the current WHO initiative for Cervical Cancer Elimination, these findings highlight the challenges in eliminating the disease in women living with HIV. Investigations are underway to determine the underlying causes of these findings.