Invasive cervical cancer (ICC) is the second most common cancer in women, with hundreds of thousands of new cases every year. However, ICC is a preventable and treatable disease, if detected in the early stages. Certain EU countries have well-organised screening and effective prevention programmes. Nonetheless, a lab-on-a-chip system could lead to better compliance with screening as it would enable women to collect samples in the comfort of their own homes. The aim of the EU-funded project SELFPOCNAD (SelfPOCNAD - Development of a point of care detection device and self sampling device for cervical cancer screening) was to develop a commercial pre-production prototype of a point-of-care (POC) test for this cancer. The POC detector system prepares the sample and then performs the test based on nucleic acid detection (NAD) to produce accurate ICC screening results in less than 3 hours. The ease and speed of use will dramatically increase the compliance of women with the ICC screening programme, thereby reducing the incidence of ICC and saving lives. Project partners first agreed on a plan for prototype development, which required a slight adaptation of the basic laboratory prototype of the instrument. They also highlighted certain improvements in component production and assembly so that the prototype would be ready for demonstration. The efficacy of the device was validated in a POC setting using clinical samples. SELFPOCNAD and the combination of POCNAD technology and pre-treatment devices will eventually cover the areas of health, life sciences and environment. These include the oil industry, fish farms, primary health prevention and complex waters.
Cervical cancer, cancer screening, SELFPOCNAD, point-of-care, nucleic acid detection