Melton and Moorabool women are being called on to join a clinical trial to improve cervical cancer screening.
The Compass trial, conducted by the VCS Foundation, hopes to recruit more than 80,000 women nationwide.
Bacchus Marsh Medical is one of more than 570 practices around the country where women will be participating in the trial.
About 8000 more women aged between 25 and 38 years, particularly those who have had the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine, are needed. Co-principal investigator Marion Saville said the trial is crucial to influence screening practices here and around the world.
“For the scientific evidence generated to be strong and robust we need a significant number of participants, in this case 82,303 Australian women,” associate professor Saville said.
She said nearly all cervical cancers were caused by persistent infection with certain types of HPV.
“HPV testing is a better way to find lesions that otherwise may become cancers but we are also using the trial to identify the best way to refine the testing to avoid sending too many healthy women for further tests,” associate professor Saville said.
Dr Noor Zannat, of Bacchus Marsh Medical Clinic, said that while many Melton and Moorabool women were already supporting the trial more local women were needed.
“This trial is a powerful example of women helping other women,” Dr Zanat said.
“If we can confirm the best way of screening using the HPV test, the Compass Trial will completely change the direction of how we screen and prevent cervical cancer globally.
“The Compass Trial is a remarkable Australian medical milestone and I’d encourage all eligible women and practitioners to become a part of scientific history.”
To join the trial: compasstrial.org.au.