Annual ECP meeting on Cervical Cancer Prevention

The 2013 annual ECP meeting will be held on Cervical Cancer Update.

Local organizing committee:

– Prof. J-P Bogers Antwerp, Belgium
– Prof. J. Ph. Janssens Hasselt, Belgium

Each year another theme in cancer prevention is highlighted.  The choice for cervical cancer is based on a number of considerations.

Probably the best argument to is that two vaccines reached the market and can now be offered to youngsters before sexual contact. The scientific achievement of both pharmaceutical companies is outstanding but the commercialisation of the medication is debatable since Western countries have a low incidence but have the resources to provide vaccination.  Southern countries (Africa, Brazil) have high incidences but lack resources.  It is our aim to reach a consensus between scientists how to prioritize vaccination.

New knowledge has been gained about the role of stroma in the decisive steps of carcinogenesis.  Stromal factors, and among them the oxygen and vascular metabolism, are central in the conversion of intraepithelial hyperplasia and malignancy to invasive cancer. Oxygenation was already known as an important factor in cancer treatment but its role in the first steps of cancer invasion was less known.

Both vaccination and stromal factors point once more to the role of the human papilloma virus in cervical carcinogenesis. It is established that over 99 % of cervical cancer can be attributed to viruses. The infection might be prevented through personal hygiene but other factors might contribute as well.  The role of lifestyle will be addressed once more.

New medical devices and in-vitro testing are useful in optimizing early detection.  An inventory of these innovations will hopefully be discussed in the presence of Prof. Harald zur Hausen.

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