A study looking at a different way of collecting cells from the cervix (Cervical Cell Lift)

Please note - this trial is no longer recruiting patients. We hope to add results when they are available.

Cancer type:

Cervical cancer





Instead of brushing cells from the surface of the cervix this study is using a special type of paper to lift cells from the cervical surface.

More about this trial

Cervical screening is a way of preventing cancer. At the screening you have a smear test. The doctor or specialist nurse uses a small brush to scrape some cells from the surface of the cervix. 

The cells are then sent to the lab and looked at individually under a microscope. If the cells are abnormal you might have a procedure called a colposcopy.

Researchers think there is another way of taking the cells that might be better. They call this cell lift. It uses a special type of paper. 

In this study the specialist nurse (colposcopist) or doctor doing the colposcopy puts the paper on to the surface of the cervix. When they take it off it lifts the top few layers of cells. They send the paper with the layers of cells to the lab. 

This might be better because all the cells are seen together as they would be in the cervix. And may give doctors a more accurate picture of what is happening. 

The aim of this study is to find out if the cell lift method improves the detection and monitoring of cells that are at a higher risk of becoming cervical cancer. These are pre cancerous cells Open a glossary item

Who can enter

The following bullet points list the entry conditions for this study. Talk to your doctor or the study team if you are unsure about any of these. They will be able to advise you. 

Who can take part

You may be able to join this study if all of the following apply. You:

  • have an abnormal smear  Open a glossary itemtest result
  • are to have a colposcopy 
  • are between 25 years old and 65 years old

Who can’t take part

You cannot join this study if any of these apply. You:

  • have an immune system Open a glossary item that isn’t working well enough
  • have HIV
  • are pregnant

Trial design

The study team need 600 women who are having a colposcopy to join the study.

You have the colposcopy as normal. At the start the doctor or specialist nurse (colposcopist) takes a photo of your cervix. After this they put the special paper on the cervix and leave it there for 10 to15 seconds. When they lift the paper off it removes the top few layers of cells (cell lift). 

This isn’t uncomfortable and you might not even be aware of it happening. 

The team might ask you to have another cell lift. But you don’t have to agree to another one if you don’t want to. 

The cell lift adds about 1 or 2 minutes to the time it takes to have the colposcopy. 

After you have had the cell lift the colposcopist washes your cervix with a solution to make the abnormal cells appear white. Then they take another photo. 

During the colposcopy the colposcopist might take small samples of tissue (biopsies Open a glossary item) of the abnormal areas. Or they might treat these areas. They will tell you if they do. 

The study team asks your permission to look at your medical records. This is to find out about your medical history and the results of the colposcopy. 

Hospital visits

There are no extra visits if you agree to take part in the study.

Side effects

Colposcopy is a very safe procedure. You might have some slight bleeding after and there is a very small chance of infection. 

We have information on having a colposcopy

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Dr Robin Crawford

Other information

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Cancer research UK
University of Cambridge
Medical Research Council (MRC)
Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust

If you have questions about the trial please contact our cancer information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:


Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Charlie took part in a trial to try new treatments

A picture of Charlie

“I think it’s really important that people keep signing up to these type of trials to push research forward.”

Last reviewed:

Rate this page:

Currently rated: 1.5 out of 5 based on 4 votes
Thank you!
We've recently made some changes to the site, tell us what you think