Research Papers:

Point-of-care test for cervical cancer in LMICs

Sulma I. Mohammed _, Wen Ren, Lisa Flowers, Bartek Rajwa, Carla J. Chibwesha, Groesbeck P. Parham and Joseph M.K. Irudayaraj

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:18787-18797. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.7709

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Sulma I. Mohammed1,4, Wen Ren2,4, Lisa Flowers3, Bartek Rajwa4, Carla J. Chibwesha5, Groesbeck P. Parham5, Joseph M.K. Irudayaraj2,4

1Department of Comparative Pathobiology, Purdue University Center for Cancer Research, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907, USA

2Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907, USA

3Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA

4Bindley Bioscience Center, Purdue University Center for Cancer Research, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907, USA

5Division of Global Women’s Health, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, USA

Correspondence to:

Sulma I. Mohammed, e-mail: mohammes@purdue.edu

Keywords: cervical, cancer, LMIC, Africa, point-of-care

Received: November 13, 2015     Accepted: February 09, 2016     Published: February 25, 2016


Cervical cancer screening using Papanicolaou's smear test has been highly effective in reducing death from this disease. However, this test is unaffordable in low- and middle-income countries, and its complexity has limited wide-scale uptake. Alternative tests, such as visual inspection with acetic acid or Lugol’s iodine and human papillomavirus DNA, are sub-optimal in terms of specificity and sensitivity, thus sensitive and affordable tests with high specificity for on-site reporting are needed. Using proteomics and bioinformatics, we have identified valosin-containing protein (VCP) as differentially expressed between normal specimens and those with cervical intra-epithelial neoplasia grade 2/3 (CIN2/CIN3+) or worse. VCP-specific immunohistochemical staining (validated by a point-of-care technology) provided sensitive (93%) and specific (88%) identification of CIN2/CIN3+ and may serve as a critical biomarker for cervical-cancer screening. Future efforts will focus on further refinements to enhance analytic sensitivity and specificity of our proposed test, as well as on prototype development.

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