As a collaborator in the study, you have an essential role in this important BC woman's health initiative. Your collaboration in the study is valuable. The study team wants to ensure you have up to date information about the study at your fingertips throughout the duration of the study.
Women in the study will have cervical samples obtained with Liquid Based Cytology (LBC).
ThinPrep® is an LBC collection method that has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an alternative to the conventional Pap smear since 1996. LBC sampling in the FOCAL Study will be done with the ThinPrep® broom-like collection method. Please follow the special instructions that should be followed for successful specimen collection with this device.
Study supplies will be provided to you by the study centre. The LBC collection kits can only be used on study participants. HPV testing cannot be performed on the conventional Pap smear, therefore it is important that only LBC kits are utilized. Please note that the LBC kit can test for both HPV and cytology so a traditional Pap smear is not required when the LBC kit is used.
The HPV FOCAL Study Gynecological Requisition form is required for study samples. As per BC Cervical Cancer Screening Program guidelines, all cervical samples are to be labelled with the patient's last name AND date of birth, or they will be rejected at the laboratory.
Cervical sample results will be sent to your offices as soon as they are available. For information on Bethesda terminology, please see Appendix I of "Screening for Cancer of the Cervix: An Office Manual for Health Professionals".
The HPV FOCAL Study is no longer managing the screening schedule for any FOCAL Study participants. There are a number of women who did NOT attend their final screen visits. We encourage you to contact these women to return for a cervical screen (and collect with a conventional Pap smear) if they have not already done so.
For any women who have completed the study, the recommendation for future screening and/or management was included on the last set of screen results.
If you have any questions about when your patients should attend for their next cervical screen or other follow-up, please contact the Cervical Cancer Screening Program at: 1-877-747-2522.
If you have any remaining collection kits left in your office, please return them to us.
British Columbia has updated its Cervical Cancer Screening policy. The following changes will be in effect:
Read more here.
You may find it hard to believe that the first FOCAL participant was enrolled in January 2008. It took several years for all 25,000 women to be consented but we are happy to report that there are now less than 5,000 women who remain active in the study! We anticipate wrapping up trial activities by the end of December 2016. Until then, we appreciate your dedication and commitment.
Since the trial began in 2008, cervical cancer screening has seen significant changes in Canada and globally. Although not yet implemented, Cancer Care Ontario has recommended primary HPV testing for women over 30 - the first province to officially recommend HPV primary testing. In 2016, the Netherlands will implement primary HPV testing every 5 years for women starting age 30, and Australia will also be conducting primary HPV testing, commencing at age 25.
We anticipate the findings from FOCAL will contribute to the future of cervical cancer screening not only in BC but elsewhere in Canada and around the world! We look forward to sharing results with you as they become available.