We now know that long term infection with certain types of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the main cause of cervical cancer. Overseas research has shown that a test for these HPV types is, in fact, a better cervical cancer screening test than the Pap smear.

Compass is a randomized controlled trial to compare 2.5-yearly cytology-based cervical screening with 5-yearly primary HPV screening in Australian women aged 25-69. As of April 2016, we have now completed and closed recruitment of “older” unvaccinated women. Currently, eligible participants are women, aged 25-38 years (born after 30th June 1980), attending for routine screening at Participating Health Practices.

Compass is being carried out by VCS Foundation in collaboration with Cancer Council NSW. For more information please see the Participants page

Trial Investigators

Principal Investigators

Professor Marion Saville

Executive Director – VCS Foundation
MB ChB, Am Bd (Anat Path & Cytopath), FIAC, Grad Dip Med (Clin Epi)

Professor Karen Canfell

Director of the Cancer Research Division, Cancer Council NSW
D.Phil. (PhD)

Other Chief Investigators

  • Dr. Philip Castle
  • Prof. Val Gebski (CTC)
  • Dr. Michael Caruana (CCNSW)
  • Ms. Jessica Darlington-Brown (CCNSW)
  • Dr. Julia Brotherton (VCS)
  • Dr. Stella Heley (VCS)

Associate Investigators

  • Mr. David Wrede (RWH)
  • Dr. Jeffery Tan (RWH)
  • A/Prof. Sally Lord (CTC)
  • Dr. Lara Roeske (VCS)
  • Dr. Jane Collins (Clifton Hill Medical Centre)
  • Ms. Sandy Anderson (Nurse Pap Test Provider, Ballarat)
  • Dr. Siobhan Bourke (VCS)
  • Dr. David Hawkes (VCS)
  • Ms. Grace Tan (VCS)
  • Dr. Wendy Pakes (VCS)
  • Dr. Alexis Butler (VCS)
  • Ms. Rebecca Asher (CTC)
  • Dr Louiza Velentzis (CCNSW)
  • Dr. Megan Smith (CCNSW)
  • Ms. Chloe Jennett (CCNSW)
  • Ms. Leanne Rumlee (CCNSW)

Scientific Advisory Committee

  • Prof. Bruce Armstrong (Chair)
  • Prof. Jonathan Carter
  • Prof. Rachel Skinner
  • Prof. Suzanne Garland
  • Prof. Andrew Grulich
  • A/Prof. Lyndal Anderson
  • A/Prof. Deborah Bateson
  • Dr. Eduardo Franco
  • Ms. Bridget Whelan (sadly deceased)
  • Ms. Susan Taylor

Independent Data Safety Monitoring Committee

  • Prof. Michael Quinn (Chair)
  • Clinical A/Prof. Penny Blomfield
  • Prof. Gordon Wright
  • A/Prof. Katrina Sharples

Ethics Approval

The Compass Trial has ethical approval from Bellberry Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, National Research Evaluation and Ethics Committee (NREEC).

Both HRECs are constituted and operate within the National Health and Medical Research Councils (NHMRC) National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007). The process used by these HRECs the multi-centre research proposals have been certified by the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Research and Ethics committees ensure studies are performed to the highest scientific standard and in such a manner that the privacy, sensitivities and rights of each person participating in the research are protected. If you have a complaint or would like to speak to someone who is not involved in the trial, you can contact the below details:

Bellberry Ethics Committee Contact