IPVC 2021 Virtual Poster Walk with Dr. Jaimie Z. Shing

IPVC 2021 Virtual Poster Walk with Dr. Jaimie Z. Shing

By Dr. Jaimie Z. Shing
Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics,
United States National Cancer Institute, USA

I visited the ePoster gallery for the Public Health, Epidemiology, and Implementation Sciences track and was so impressed with the breadth of public health-related HPV research being conducted globally. In the era of virtual meetings, conveying our science clearly and thoroughly is often challenging, particularly through a virtual poster for which the presenter is unable to explain their work in-person or live; however, many researchers were able to showcase their research artistically and impactfully at this year’s IPVC. Here, I highlighted a few of the many outstanding posters I saw in the gallery:

With the recent release of the World Health Organization (WHO)’s global strategy for cervical cancer elimination, research aimed at effectively implementing and disseminating guidelines for cervical precancer screening and treatment will be important to successfully reach the future goal of cervical cancer elimination. In the ePoster entitled, RESEARCH ABOUT DISSEMINATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF WHO GUIDELINES FOR CERVICAL CANCER SCREENING, DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT: THE GUIDES PROJECT (ID 634), Arrossi et al. beautifully present the four phases of The Guides Project, a novel implementation science study in Argentina aimed at examining the barriers and facilitators of adopting WHO guidelines for screening and treatment of precancerous lesions using the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research.

Another effective way to improve cervical cancer screening is through HPV self-sampling, particularly in the age of COVID-19 when virtual/remote healthcare has been vital. Datta et al.’s ePoster, HPV SELF-SAMPLING AMONG SCREENING ATTENDERS: SUFFICIENT ACCEPTABILITY FOR USE IN A NEW REMOTE PRIMARY CARE PARADIGM? (ID 75), does a great job at presenting different preferences for HPV self-sampling by sociodemographic characteristics and screening status (overdue versus up to date). The authors found that HPV self-sampling is highly preferred in women who are overdue for screening, particularly among women aged 45-54 years.

Another interesting ePoster about HPV self-sampling, WOMEN’S PERCEPTIONS ABOUT SELF-COLLECTING SPECIMENS FOR HPV TESTING (ID 802) by Fontenot et al., wonderfully describes some of the perceived benefits and concerns of women regarding self-collecting HPV samples as an alternative to cervical cancer screening. In the focus groups from the study, women had mixed feelings about HPV self-sampling. While the benefits included less physical and mental strain, a common concern was not wanting to replace seeing a qualified clinician at a routine healthcare visit.

I also really enjoyed a very relevant ePoster by Malagón et al. entitled, PREDICTED IMPACT OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC ON CERVICAL CANCER INCIDENCE AND LONG-TERM MORTALITY IN CANADA (ID 99). Using projection modeling and simulations, the authors predicted a 4% increase in cervical cancer mortality in Canada due to pandemic-related delays in diagnosis and treatment. This novel finding will be important for future decision-makers in their discussions on how to alleviate and recover from the burden of the pandemic.

Lastly, I wanted to highlight a super interesting study by Ramos-Cartagena et al. entitled, ASSOCIATION OF CURRENT SMOKING WITH ANAL HIGH-RISK HPV INFECTION AND HISTOLOGICALLY CONFIRMED ANAL HIGH-GRADE SQUAMOUS INTRAEPITHELIAL LESIONS IN A CLINIC-BASED POPULATION IN PUERTO RICO (ID 640). The authors begin by clearly illustrating the lifecycle of anal cancer (which was super helpful), and then present the characteristics and prevalence of anal high-risk HPV and high-grade anal squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL) by smoking status (current smoker versus non-smoker). After adjusting for confounders, the authors found that current smokers had 68% higher odds of anal HSIL compared to non-smokers.

Picking just a few of my favorite ePosters to highlight this year was particularly challenging because the gallery included so many other ePosters that were super informative and visually engaging. Luckily, there’s still plenty of time to peruse the gallery and see for yourselves. I hope you all get the chance to visit the ePoster gallery, listen to some great talks, and enjoy the rest of IPVC 2021!