The US-Latin American-Caribbean HIV/HPV-Cancer Prevention Clinical Trials Network (ULACNet) focuses on developing evidence to improve and optimize approaches for prevention of human papillomavirus (HPV)-related cancers in people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.
This international collaborative research network brings together institutions in the United States and counterparts in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region. Funded in Fall 2019 via a U54 Partnership Centers Cooperative Agreement mechanism, ULACNet comprises of three Partnership Centers each collaboratively conducting a multidisciplinary Clinical Trials Program supported via an infrastructure of an Administrative and Coordinating Core, a Data Management and Statistical Core, and a Central Laboratory Core.
Scientific Research Focus Areas[ View an enlarged version ]
ULACNet investigators collaborate with the NCI to design and conduct clinical trials on three key scientific areas across the continuum of prevention interventions for HPV-related cancers in people living with HIV, including:
- optimizing dosing and delivery and evaluating new indications for HPV prophylactic vaccines;
- evaluating new biomarkers and technologies for improving accuracy of cervical and anogenital cancer screening and triage; and
- evaluating novel non-excisional treatments for HPV-related precancerous lesions.
Outcomes of ULACNet clinical trials are expected to influence the development of clinical practice guidelines to improve preventive clinical care and reduce the burden of highly preventable HPV-related cancers in people living with HIV.
The three ULACNet Partnership Centers include the following collaborations between institutions in the United States and partners in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Peru, and Dominican Republic:
- University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in San Francisco, CA (PI: Joel Palefsky, M.D.) in partnership with University of Puerto Rico in San Juan, Puerto Rico (PI: Anna Patricia Ortiz, Ph.D., M.P.H.) and National Institute of Public Health (INSP) in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico (PI: Jorge Salmeron, M.D., D.Sc.);
- Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York, NY (PI: Timothy Wilkin, M.D., M.S.) in partnership with Moffitt Cancer Center, in Tampa, FL (PI: Anna Giuliano, Ph.D., M.P.H.), University of Sao Paulo in Sao Paulo, Brazil (PI: Luisa Villa, Ph.D.), National Institute of Public Health (INSP) in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico (PI: Eduardo Lazcano-Ponce, M.D., Ph.D.), and the University of Puerto Rico in San Juan, Puerto Rico (PI: Jorge Santana-Bagur, M.D.); and
- Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA (PIs: Margaret Madeleine, Ph.D., M.P.H., and Ann Duerr, M.D., Ph.D.) in partnership with Asociacion Civil Via Libre in Lima, Peru (PI: Robinson Cabello, M.D.), National Institute of Infectious Diseases Evandro Chagas-Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (PI: Beatriz Grinsztejn, M.D., Ph.D.), PATH in Seattle, WA (PI: Silvia de Sanjose, M.D., Ph.D.), and Instituto Dermatologico Dominicano y Cirugia de Piel (IDCP) in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (PI: Yeycy Donastorg, M.D.).
The ULACNet Program Director is Vikrant Sahasrabuddhe, M.B.B.S., Dr.P.H. in the NCI Division of Cancer Prevention.
Optimizing Clinical Interventions for Prevention of Cervical Cancer and HPV-related Cancers in People Living with HIV
Cervical cancer is highly preventable, yet it is not fully prevented. Significant advancements in our understanding of the human papillomavirus (HPV)-linked development of cervical cancer have created highly effective clinical tools for primary prevention (HPV vaccines) and secondary prevention (screening and treatment of precancerous lesions). Despite this, more than half a million women are...