Milken Institute School of Public Health (Milken Institute SPH) at the George Washington University (GW) recently announced that it received a $2.6 million award from the National Cancer Institute to develop cervical cancer prevention strategies in the Loreto region of the Peruvian Amazon. The project, Cancer Prevention in Loreto (CoPILOTO), aims to develop partnerships with the health systems in this region of Peru to evaluate and improve their current cervical cancer prevention programs. The project hopes to put in place a common vision—one that ultimately would reduce the high burden of cervical cancer in Loreto.
Dr. Patti Gravitt, principal investigator on the project and a professor of global health at Milken Institute SPH, is a molecular epidemiologist whose research has focused on HPV for most of her career, including a period where she worked as a molecular biologist in the PCR diagnostics industry. In the past, her work led to the development of a gold-standard HPV test that is now used in the United States and other countries to prevent cervical cancers.
In the five- year project, Dr. Gravitt and her team hope to put a new strategy in place to prevent cervical cancer in Loreto and then compare it to the current system in Peru. In the end, the team would produce a report that would allow public health leaders in Peru to compare the cost and benefits of the old versus a new strategy, such as the HPV-based screen and treat strategy.
Read more about the CoPILOTO project.