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Women could do cervical cancer screenings at home if this device makes it to market

6:00 am by | 3 Comments

eve medicalCervical cancer is the easiest female cancer to prevent, because there are highly effective vaccines available, and precancerous cells can be detected by Pap tests and treated before they turn into cancer. Yet, in some areas of the world with lower incomes, cervical cancer incidence rates are still high, partially because of limited access to screening.

A medical device startup called Eve Medical is hoping to reduce some of the barriers that prevent women from being screened by allowing them to collect their own samples that can be tested for HPV, the virus that causes cervical cancer.

Eve Medical is developing HerSwab, a device that looks kind of like a tampon with a small rotating handle on top. Inside the device is a swab that extends when the handle is turned, to collect a sample from the cervix area.

Under the model that CEO Jessica Ching has in mind, organizations that run screening programs in countries with universal healthcare systems would send self-sampling kits to women they know are high-risk or don’t get regularly screened. Women would use them to collect their samples and mail them back to a lab to be processed. It’s the same science as current tests for HPV, just a different way of going about it, she said.

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In the U.S., an over-the-counter sales model would make more sense, she added.

A 2013 analysis of 10 studies found compliance to HPV self-collected testing to be significantly higher than traditional Pap testing. But research has also found self-collected samples to be slightly less sensitive in identifying precancerous growth.

At the Reinventing Early Stage Life Science Investing conference on Monday, Ching told me the company is in the middle of a study using the device for chlamydia testing. Once it completes that, it will move onto an HPV study.

Eve Medical is based in Toronto.

[Image credit: Eve Medical]

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Deanna Pogorelc

By Deanna Pogorelc MedCity News

Deanna Pogorelc is a Cleveland-based reporter who writes obsessively about life science startups across the country, looking to technology transfer offices, startup incubators and investment funds to see what’s next in healthcare. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ball State University and previously covered business and education for a northeast Indiana newspaper.
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3 comments
buybabyblue
buybabyblue

not all cases of cervical cancer are caused by hpv  I got clear cell cervical cancer and it is not hpv related

Herpeslove
Herpeslove

Improved method could help people know how his or her body works.

Tina S
Tina S

They might be able to collaborate with www.brainblender.ca as they have a similar device that they have been testing for HPV but they are taking a different approach & making it a monthly test that's performed in tandem with a menstral cycle!