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Qiagen Collaborates on Cervical Screening Program in India

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Qiagen today announced that it is collaborating with the Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute to establish a large-scale cervical screening program in Kolkata, India, which will utilize Qiagen's Hybrid Capture II human papillomavirus test.

Qiagen will provide the tests and CNCI will conduct the screening and provide appropriate treatment as needed. Women will also be screened using visual inspection with acetic acid, as per the Indian National Guidelines for Cervical Screening, said Qiagen.

"Kolkata, India, is a particularly fitting location to launch this project as India has the world's highest incidence rate of cervical cancer," Qiagen CEO Peer Schatz said in a statement. "We believe that launching this project can play a role in helping to change those statistics."

A study that was recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggested that HPV tests can dramatically decrease cancer deaths in areas with relatively few screening resources.

The study of nearly 132,000 healthy women in rural India looked at whether a single round of cervical cancer screening with one of three methods — Qiagen's Hybrid Capture II HPV test, a cytology test, or visual inspection with acetic acid — could curb cervical cancer deaths among women aged 30 years to 59 years in India's Osmanabad region, where routine cervical cancer screening programs currently don't exist. Over the eight years of the study, HPV testing was the only method that significantly decreased cervical cancer death.

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