Cervical cancer disproportionately affects women in low- and middle-income countries across the globe. In the U.S., disease burden remains high in communities of color and among women who face structural, cultural, and access barriers to disease prevention and early detection.
Sylvester’s catchment area in South Florida has pockets of cervical cancer disparity, where rates far exceed national averages. In our labs, with our community partners, and through our novel outreach which brings education and screening opportunity to those who need it most, Sylvester researchers and clinicians have been working for years with the World Health Organization to solve this problem, here and elsewhere throughout the globe.
On Nov. 17, 2021, the WHO announced that Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center is the first-of-its-kind collaborating centre for cervical cancer elimination. We are proud to be working with the WHO and global partners to generate solutions critical to achieve the key targets for cervical cancer elimination. We stand with survivors and their families in South Florida and across the world in raising awareness, mobilizing action, and leveraging our lessons learned for collective benefit.
Sylvester’s work in the South Florida community and in its laboratories and clinics demonstrates its substantial outreach, efforts that have been mirrored globally with the WHO over many years. Working together, we can make a difference across the world in eliminating cervical cancer.
Sylvester’s Game Changer vehicle goes out into the South Florida communities several times a week, promoting cancer awareness and screening. With director of outreach and engagement, Dinah Trevil, the Game Changer team conducts testing for HPV, colorectal cancer, hep C linked to liver cancer.
Firefighter Cancer Initiative
Started at Sylvester in 2015, this project works to better understand and document the added burden of cancer risk among firefighters in Florida and now on a global stage. Research assistant professor Dr. Natasha Schaeffer Solle, has been working to create better screening programs that are home-based for female firefighters.
With a focus on reaching children, Dr. Lisa Gwynn, medical director of the UHealth Pediatric Mobile Clinic, leads HPV prevention efforts in Miami-Dade County Public Schools. She and her team take the Pediatric Mobile Clinic to reach underserved communities and uninsured children at nine school-based clinics, delivering the HPV (Gardasil) vaccine to girls and boys who are also at risk of penile cancer and warts.
Point-of-Care Tests for HPV
Dr. Sylvia Daunert, Lucille P. Markey Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, is leading the effort to develop and deploy a test that can detect high-risk HPV with the same efficacy as the test done in doctor’s offices. Getting tests out into communities at highest risk around the world will increase early detection on a global scale.
Dr. Marilyn Huang, co-director of Translational Gynecologic Oncology Research, is partnering with an immunologist to develop new immunotherapies that show the promise of prolonging survival of women living everywhere with recurrent or late-stage cervical cancer.
Dr. Matthew Schlumbrecht, chief of gynecologic oncology, is pursuing critical epidemiologic research demonstrating the global challenges in addressing persistent incidence of cervical cancer.