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History of cervical cancer and the role of the human papillomavirus, 1960–2000



The history, largely untold, of the development of cervical cytology, of effective screening and its ultimate success in reducing cervical cancer incidence and mortality, and the viral cause of cervical cancer, took place within a complex social background of changing attitudes to women’s health and sexual behaviour. Dr Georges Papanicolaou’s screening method (the Pap smear) started in the US in the 1940s. It was widely used in the UK a decade later and a national programme of cervical screening was established in 1988. The association of sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV) with cervical cancer was less readily accepted. The detection of HPV16 in cervical cancers at the end of the 1970s was aided by the explosion of laboratory, clinical, and public health research on new screening tests and procedures. These made possible the successful development, licensing and use of preventive vaccines against the major oncogenic HPV types, HPV16 and -18. The Witness Seminar was attended by virologists, cytologists, gynaecologists, epidemiologists and others and addressed the development of cytology as a pathological discipline. They discussed who became cytologists and screeners; the evolution of screening in the UK and elsewhere; the impacts of colposcopy and of HPV; and the discovery of virus-like particles and the development of the HPV vaccine. The meeting was chaired by Professor Glenn McCluggage and the topic was suggested by Professor David Jenkins. Contributors include: Professor Valerie Beral, Professor Saveria Campo, Professor Jocelyn Chamberlain, Professor Dulcie Coleman, Dr Lionel Crawford, Professor Heather Cubie, Professor Jack Cuzick, Dr Ian Duncan, Dr Winifred Gray, Dr Amanda Herbert, Professor David Jenkins, Dr Elizabeth Mackenzie, Dr Joan Macnab, Professor Anthony Miller, Professor Julian Peto, Dr Catherine Pike, Professor Peter Sasieni, Professor Albert Singer, Dr John Smith, Professor Margaret Stanley, Mrs Marilyn Symonds, Dr Anne Szarewski, Professor Leslie Walker, Mr Patrick Walker, Dr Margaret Wolfendale and Professor Ciaran Woodman. Two appendices with reminiscences from Professor Leopold Koss, Dr Arthur Spriggs and Dr O A N (Nasseem) Husain complete the volume

Publisher: Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at UCL
Year: 2009
OAI identifier:
Provided by: UCL Discovery

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  1. (1958). (Betty) Macgregor OBE MD FRCPath FRCOG (1920–2005) qualified at Glasgow with house jobs at Glasgow Royal Infirmary and Western General Hospital. In
  2. (1938). attended Sydney University, graduating in 1960, specializing in obstetrics and gynaecology obtaining membership of the Royal College in 1967. He had joined Dr Malcolm Coppleson, a clinical gynaecologist and expert colposcopists, and Dr Bevan Reid,
  3. (2006). Chapter 24: Psychosocial aspects of vaccine acceptability. Vaccine 24 (Suppl 3): S3201–9.History of Cervical Cancer and the Role of the Human Papillomavirus, 1960–2000 – Biographical Notes Professor Valerie Beral FRCP FMedSci FRS (b.
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  8. (1949). has been a consultant gynaecologist, Royal Free Hospital, London since 1986. His University of London MD was on ‘Human papilloma virus and its relationship with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia’
  9. (2006). He is head of the University of Queensland Diamantina institute for cancer, Princess Alexandra Hospital and was honoured as
  10. He was a research scientist with Sir Richard Doll in Oxford (1974–83) and chairman of the section of epidemiology at the Institute of Cancer Research
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  13. jointly holds the patent with his late research partner, Dr Jian Zhou (1957–99), and was the commercial driver in the development of the vaccine for cervical cancer (Gardasil) by the University of Queensland team.
  14. (1988). McCluggage FRCPath (b. 1963) trained in medicine at Queen’s University of Belfast (QUB) in 1987; has worked as a trainee and consultant in histopathology in the Royal Group of Hospitals Trust,
  15. (1983). McGoogan MPath qualified at Aberdeen University Medical School and trained at the University of Edinburgh department of pathology. She was a senior lecturer there and honorary consultant pathologist
  16. (2007). Professor Attila Lörincz PhD (b. 1954) molecular biologist, inventor of the hybrid capture series of tests for HPV while senior vicepresident and chief scientific officer at the Digene Corporation (later part of QIAGEN,
  17. (1931). qualified at the Royal Free Hospital London in 1956; was appointed registrar in exfoliative cytology to the Oxford Regional Hospital Board in
  18. (1967). Rue DBE FRCP FFPHM FRCPsych FRCS (1928–2004), physician and regional medical officer (1973–84) and regional general manager (1984–88) of the Oxford Regional Health Authority, who set up a married women doctors’ retraining scheme. See Rue
  19. (1985). She co-directed the Medical Research Council-UK Centre for Co-ordinating Epidemiological Studies of HIV and AIDS from
  20. (1947). studied at the University of Palermo, Italy, where she graduated summa cum laude in
  21. (1963). studied mathematics at Cambridge University before going to the department of biostatistics at the University of Washington, where he obtained a PhD. His post-doctoral post was with Dr Jack Cuzick at ICRF,
  22. (1982). Szarewski PhD FFSRH (b. 1959) graduated in medicine in
  23. Tansey PhD PhD HonFRCP FMedSci (b. 1953) is convenor of the History of Twentieth Century Medicine Group and professor of the history of modern medical sciences at the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at UCL.
  24. (1954). trained in medicine in Cambridge and Newcastle and specialized in epidemiology and public health. She was in general practice (1978–83), registrar in community medicine, NE Thames Regional Health Authority (1983/4), lecturer,
  25. (1983). was appointed to a postdoctoral position, later assistant professor, department of virology, University of Freiburg (1977–83); head of the German Cancer Research Center, genome modifications and carcinogenesis division,
  26. (1968). Wilson Principal medical officer at the Ministry of Health and joint author with G Jungner, chief of clinical chemistry department, Sahlgren’s Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden, of Principles and Practice of Screening for Disease

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