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Mexican Department of Public Health to Launch Screening for Human Papillomavirus (HPV), Cause of Cervical Cancer
Date:11/19/2008

arly half of them die. Yet this is an entirely preventable disease," said Peer Schatz, CEO of QIAGEN (Nasdaq: QGEN; Frankfurt, Prime Standard: QIA), the company that developed the digene(R) HPV Test, which will be used in the SSA's program and is the only such test approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It also is available in many other countries of the world. "The Mexican government is taking a leadership role in Latin America, and the world, and QIAGEN is committed to joining with the SSA to assure that our advanced screening technology is accessible to women everywhere, no matter what their income level or social class."

In the majority of women, the virus goes away or is suppressed by the body before it causes any problems. However, in others, the infection lingers and can cause abnormal cells to form. While the traditional Pap smear is usually able to find abnormal cells, it sometimes misses them. A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that about one-third of invasive cervical cancers developed in women whose smears had appeared normal. In contrast, HPV testing detects the presence of the virus itself. In the national norms for cervical cancer prevention, which were updated in 2007, physicians are advised that they can supplement the Pap with HPV testing in women 25-65 for additional protection. If abnormal cells are diagnosed early, they can be removed before they develop into cervical cancer.

It is estimated that 6 million women a year will be eligible for HPV testing through the Mexican public health system once the screening program is national. An additional 1 million women can access the test using private insurance.

About HPV and cervical cancer (theHPVtest.com and theHPVtest.com/espanol)

Worldwide, cervical cancer affects nearly 500,000
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SOURCE Qiagen N V
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