Testing times a big help

Dr Eunice Salles, Dr Megan Willaton, Craig Rayner and Dr Lucy Oude-Vrielink and Keilor Village Medical.

By Tate Papworth

A number of Brimbank medical centres are taking part in a trial aimed at finding the most effective strategies for optimising cervical screening in HPV (human papillomavirus)-vaccinated women.

The trial, the largest clinical trial ever to be conducted in Australia, is being undertaken at 10 locations around the municipality.

While many Brimbank women are already supporting the trial, the VCS Foundation is calling for even more support.

It says it needs 8000 more Australian women aged 25 to 38 to participate in the trial to help it understand the best way to refine HPV testing, especially in women who have been offered HPV vaccination.

Keilor Village Medical practice manager Craig Rayner said he jumped at the chance to help.

“VCS sent out the feelers to see if we were interested,” he said. “Our principal practitioner here has a big interest in women’s health and cervical screening, so that was a big factor.

“We have over 1800 patients at the clinic at the moment … with new GPs coming on board, we thought it was a great way to extend our cervical screening.”

VCS Foundation executive director Marion Saville said the trial was an important step in eliminating the disease.

“HPV testing is a better way to find lesions that otherwise may become cancers, but we are also using the trial to identify the best way to refine the testing to avoid sending too many healthy women for further tests (false positive tests),” she said.

“Understanding how we can further improve screening in women … is an important step towards eliminating this disease.”

Details: compasstrial.org.au