A UAMS associate professor has developed a vaccine that could prevent cancers caused by the disease.
In the lab at UAMS, Dr. Mayumi Nakagawa oversees the testing of blood in women who have had recent abnormal pap smears, and if confirmed to have human papillomvirus, they will be eligible for the vaccinations in the first phase of a new clinical trial.
"It's different from the vaccine that's been available to date because this is for people that already have HPV and have precancerous lesions," says Dr. Nakagawa, Associate Professor of Clinical Pathology.
Each year about 12,000 women get cervical cancer, and according to the Centers for Disease Control, most are associated with HPV.
About 300 women will be enrolled in the clinical trial.
"We need women 18 to 50 who have had recent pap smears or coposcopies that have shown high grade HPV," says Shawna Owens, Clinical Research Assistant.
"They will get one vaccination three weeks apart for a total of four," says Clinical Research Nurse Tanya Stillman.
Dr. Nakagawa says it's an easy process that will take up to three months, and that they are another step closer to saving lives.