07 November 2021

Launch of the Australian Centre for the Prevention of Cervical Cancer

7 November 2021, Melbourne, Australia: Today, the Australian Centre for the Prevention of Cervical Cancer was launched in Melbourne. Formerly VCS Foundation Ltd, the leading cervical cancer prevention body in Australia changed its name to reflect the organisation’s primary purpose and to achieve the elimination of cervical cancer as a public health problem in our region.

In Australia, successful human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination and cervical screening programs have reduced cervical cancer incidence and mortality rates down to amongst the lowest in the world, however inequities still exist for under-screened groups such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. Globally, it is the fourth most common cancer among women. In 2020, over 600,000 women were diagnosed with this preventable disease and it killed 341,843 women, most of whom were from low- and middle-income countries.

Professor Marion Saville AM, Executive Director of the Australian Centre for Cervical Cancer Prevention said: “Our new name ensures that we are recognised as Australia’s leading organisation in cervical cancer prevention. This is an important step to move ahead in the goal to eliminate cervical cancer in our region.”

“The governance and structure of the organisation will remain the same. We will continue to play an important role in other activities that aim to prevent cancer and infectious disease, such as the Participant Follow-Up Function for Victorian bowel screening participants, immunisation programs for vulnerable groups, Victorian cancer screening data surveillance and reporting, STI, COVID-19 and other respiratory virus testing, and other digital and population health initiatives”, said Professor Saville.

The three divisions within the Australian Centre for the Prevention of Cervical Cancer include VCS Pathology, Digital Health and Population Health. An expert multidisciplinary team of staff across these divisions deliver laboratory and medical education services, establishment and operation of cancer screening and vaccination registries, policy and program implementation and advice, and conducting world-leading research and data analysis.

The organisation is also launching the Australian HPV Reference Laboratory today. Our team is widely regarded for their leadership, innovation and deep expertise in cervical cancer prevention. The laboratory works hand-in-hand with quality assurance programs, test manufacturers, other laboratories and researchers in Australia and abroad to enhance and monitor the performance HPV tests, technology and laboratory procedures to help reduce HPV-related disease.

Professor Saville said: “We are proud to continue contributing to Australia’s highly successful cervical cancer prevention efforts and to collaborate with partners across the Indo-Pacific region to save thousands more women’s lives. It is possible to achieve elimination of this preventable disease by partnering with health leaders in low- and middle-income countries to develop solutions that will work for their communities, supported by strong political will.”

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About the Australian Centre for the Prevention of Cervical Cancer (ACPCC)

ACPCC is working with Australian and international partners to achieve the World Health Organization’s goal of eliminating cervical cancer as a public health problem. Our team is committed to supporting the effective delivery of HPV vaccination and cervical screening programs, to ensure a cervical cancer free future for girls and women everywhere. ACPCC is a not for profit organisation with over 50 years of expertise in cancer prevention and population health through laboratory and medical education services, establishing and operating cancer screening and vaccination registries, and conducting world-leading research and data analysis. www.acpcc.org.au

Media contact

For interviews with Professor Marion Saville AM, please contact Kate Wilkinson on 0404 161 232 or email kwilkins@vcs.org.au


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