Alliance for Cervical Cancer Prevention (ACCP)

Improving women's health and saving lives through cervical cancer prevention programs in developing countries.

In 1999, visual inspection methods of cervical cancer screening had garnered some interest, but were not yet considered "proven" technologies. Beginning that year, with a five-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Alliance for Cervical Cancer Prevention (ACCP) partners conducted studies comparing a number of screening techniques including cytology, visual inspection methods using acetic acid (VIA) or Lugol’s iodine (VILI), and a state-of-the-art human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA test. The research was implemented in over 20 low-resource settings around the world. The studies also investigated the feasibility of combining screening and cryotherapy treatment into a screen-and-treat approach more convenient for patients and providers, and which significantly reduces dropout and improves compliance.

ACCP’s contribution to the body of evidence is significant—of 100 peer-reviewed articles on visual inspection published between 2000 and 2008, 49 percent included ACCP contributions. Screening and treatment programs that began as ACCP study sites have scaled up in many countries and international policy guidelines commonly refer to ACCP findings and quote ACCP recommendations.

The initial ACCP partners included EngenderHealth, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), Jhpiego, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), and PATH, each of which made significant, and complementary, contributions to the evidence base.

The ACCP partners continued collaborating even after the initial project was completed, and in 2008 they welcomed three new agencies—the International Atomic Energy Agency, International Union Against Cancer, and Partners in Health.

In part due to ACCP contributions to evidence base, VIA, HPV DNA testing, and cryotherapy are now being implemented in many countries (visit the Cervical Cancer Action website for maps showing recent progress). Having accomplished its mission, the ACCP officially disbanded in 2013.

That said, many of the partners continue to work together in various combinations to increase access to quality cervical precancer screening and treatment in the developing world.

Over the life of the alliance, the partners published many papers in the peer-review literature, along with self-published training manuals and other resources. The most timely and useful of those documents continue to be available in PATH’s RHO Cervical Cancer Library.

For your convenience, however, here are links to three of ACCP’s most popular documents:

Expanding paradigms for cervical cancer screening—The impact of the Alliance for Cervical Cancer Prevention

This paper documents the accomplishments of the ACCP. To put the contributions of ACCP and its partners in perspective, the report also presents the state of knowledge about alternative screening strategies prior to the establishment of the partnership, as well as contributions of non-ACCP–affiliated researchers to the field.

Evidence-Based, Alternative Cervical Cancer Screening Approaches in Low-Resource Settings

Sherris J, Wittet S, Kleine A, et al. International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. 2009;35(3)147-152.

On the basis of research conducted in 20 African, Asian and Latin American countries, in this 6-page article the ACCP partners summarize and share key findings and recommendations for effective cervical cancer screening and treatment programs in low-resource settings.

Planning and Implementing Cervical Cancer Prevention and Control Programs: A Manual for Managers

This publication provides thorough background information on cervical cancer and extensive detail on screening.

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