Research aims to improve Cervical Cancer treatment | News

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Research aims to improve Cervical Cancer treatment

This week has marked Cervical Screening Awareness Week, a campaign to encourage all women to have regular cervical screening (smear) tests.

The earlier a cancer is detected, the more likely it is that curative treatment can be given. Cancers that are detected later are more likely to spread and Royal Surrey’s Oncology Research Department is working hard to improve the treatments that are available in these cases.

The team is currently working on the Cediranib and Olaparib Maintenance in Advanced/Recurrent Cervical Cancer (COMICE) study, which is investigating whether two targeted drugs (Olaparib and Cediranib) which work in different ways, can improve treatment for advanced cervical cancer.

This is a double-blind trial in which participants could receive Cediranib and Olaparib, or a placebo. The Royal Surrey has recruited two patients to the study so far, which is being run by The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust.

Olaparib prevents an enzyme called PARP, which helps damaged cells to repair themselves, while Cediranib prevents the formation of new blood vessels in cancer cells.

Some patients have also agreed to donate tissue samples from previous surgeries or biopsies, and extra blood samples to learn more about cervical cancer and possible treatments.

Researchers believe that having both drugs may shrink or stop cancer from growing and might increase the time before it starts to grow again after chemotherapy.

“Studies like these are incredibly important to developing and improving cancer therapies,” said Alexandra Stewart Consultant Clinical Oncologist. “However, the most important factor to the effective treatment of cervix cancer is prevention by HPV vaccination and early detection by cervical screening. That is why awareness weeks like Cervical Screening Awareness Week are so important.”

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