Optimization, Validation and Assessment of Feasibility and Acceptability of HPV testing using CODA

Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) is committed to providing equitable, high-quality education and research with a focus on science and technology, particularly for the betterment of the community. This study, titled “OPTIMIZATION, VALIDATION AND ASSESSMENT OF FEASIBILITY AND ACCEPTABILITY OF HPV TESTING USING CODA,” exemplifies MUST’s mission and vision in several ways:

Addressing a Critical Public Health Issue: Cervical cancer is a major health concern, especially in low- and middle-income countries like Uganda. This study directly addresses this issue by developing and evaluating CODA, a potentially more accessible and accurate HPV test for cervical cancer screening. The study utilizes existing, validated COVID-19 detection technology and adapts it for a new purpose (HPV detection). This showcases MUST’s commitment to scientific advancement and its application to improve healthcare.

Improving Healthcare Education and Outcomes: By potentially improving the accuracy and efficiency of cervical cancer screening, the study contributes to MUST’s mission of providing relevant education and fostering professional excellence in healthcare.

It focuses on cervical cancer, the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among Ugandan women. Here’s a breakdown of the situation and the proposed solution:

Statistics highlight the severity of the problem, emphasizing the need for improved screening methods.

Limitations of Current Methods: Visual inspection methods (VIA) used in Uganda have limitations in accuracy due to subjectivity. The study explores CODA, a potentially more reliable and objective HPV test that could be more widely accessible.

Objectives of  the Study

The study aims to achieve the following:

Evaluate the Effectiveness of CODA: Compare CODA’s performance with existing methods like VIA for cervical cancer screening.

Assess Feasibility and Acceptability: Evaluate CODA’s practicality and user-friendliness in a clinical setting within Uganda.

Refine CODA Technology: Gather feedback to improve CODA’s design and workflow based on user experiences.

Determine Diagnostic Accuracy: Measure CODA’s accuracy in detecting HPV compared to established testing methods.

Develop a Multi-Modal Screening Algorithm (CANOPY): Integrate CODA with other screening methods (VIA, Machine Learning) to potentially improve overall diagnostic yield.

By aligning with MUST’s mission and vision, this study has the potential to significantly improve cervical cancer screening in Uganda and contribute to better healthcare outcomes for women.

The project is 5 years, Funded by: NIH; Grant Number 1U01CA279858-01. The project team members will hold an initiation meeting with key stakeholders on 11/06/2024, at Mbarara University of Science and Technology.

We acknowledge the study team below:

Ugandan team

  • Assoc. Prof Joseph Ngonzi (Obstectrics and gynaecology)
  • Mr. Frank Ssedyabane (Medical laboratory science)
  • Dr. Joy Muhumuza (Gynaecologic oncology)
  • Ms. Alexcer Namuli (Gynaecologic oncology nursing)
  • Ms. Josephine Asiimwe (Project administration)
  • Dr. Raymond Atwine (pathology)

Ghanaian team

  • Dr. Thomas Konney (Gynaecologic oncology)
  • Dr. Nicholas Mensah (Gynaecologic oncology)
  • Dr. Francis Adjei Osei (Gynaecologic oncology)

American team

  • Dr. Thomas C Randall (Gynaecologic oncology)
  • Dr. Cesar M Castro (Gynaecologic oncology and translational research)
  • Dr. Hakho Lee (Biomedical engineering)