Wednesday, February 16, 2011 by: Rosemary Mathis, Director of SANE VAX, INC.
In a letter addressed to U.S. Senator Charles Grassley, the S.A.N.E. Vax Team congratulated the senator on his recent efforts to examine ethical questions raised by National Cancer Institute (NCI) employees accepting extensive travel sponsored by private companies and identified two senior NCI scientists who knowingly promote unreliable human papillomavirus (HPV) tests for patient care, and the development/monitoring of genotype-specific HPV vaccines to promote an unproven virology-based cervical cancer prevention business agenda.
One of the two NCI senior scientists recently admitted that he works with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the NCI in the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine trial project, as well as working on the development of HPV tests, which were previously marketed by Digene Corporation and are now by Qiagen Corporation, a Dutch company.
These two senior NCI scientists have co-authored, with the chief scientific officer of Digene Corporation, a total of 36 articles endorsing the only FDA-approved Digene HC2 HPV test in the U.S. The NCI endorsements undoubtedly boosted the final sales price of Digene Corporation to Qiagen at $1.6 billion, said Ms. Erickson.
However, the Digene HC2 HPV test is not a reliable HPV genotyping test, as well known in the NCI. A public document titled “HPV genotyping”, identified as Solicitation Number: NCI-100143-MM, reveals the NCI acknowledges a reliable genotyping of HPV is a method based on “PCR system with short target sequences”, a methodology the NCI and FDA do not encourage companies to develop in this country. They prefer to pay $13.5 million to contract a foreign laboratory to test 230 biopsy samples using this reliable HPV genotyping, which is an exorbitant amount of our tax money for a small number of tests, Ms. Erickson pointed out in her letter to the Senator.