A study looking at using urine to screen for cervical cancer (ACES)

Cancer type:

Cervical cancer





This study is looking at whether doctors can use a urine test as an accurate alternative to the current cervical screening test (smear test). 

It is open to people who are having routine cervical screening.

More about this trial

Researchers have developed a urine test that detects the human papilloma virus (HPV Open a glossary item). This is the virus that can cause cervical cancer. Many people have had HPV and their body deals with it. But for some people HPV might cause abnormal cells that could become cancer. 

At the moment the only way to test for HPV is by doing a smear test Open a glossary item. This is done as part of the NHS cervical screening. However there are a number of reasons why some people are reluctant not  to have the test. These include:

  • fear of having the screening test 
  • finding the test uncomfortable 
  • embarrassment 
  • difficulty arranging an appointment

Researchers think that a urine test could overcome these barriers and so more people would have cervical screening. 

In this study when you go for your routine cervical screening you would be asked to give a sample of urine before the test. 

The aims of this study are to find out:

  • whether the urine test can detect HPV 
  • whether the test can be used to screen for cervical pre cancer  
  • how acceptable the urine test is 

Please note you won’t get any direct benefit from taking part. The information gained from this study might help how people have cervical screening in the future. 

Who can enter

The following bullet points are a summary of 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 are:

Who can’t take part

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

  • are pregnant 
  • have had a hysterectomy Open a glossary item
  • can’t  give a urine sample
  • have another medical condition or mental health problem that the study team think could affect you taking part 

Trial design

The study team need up to 2,000 women who are having cervical screening to take part.  

When you go for your next screening appointment:

•    a member of the team will ask you about your medical history Open a glossary item
•    you give a urine sample

You do the urine sample before seeing the GP for your smear test. A member of the staff tells you how to take the sample. 

You must not pass urine in the hour before giving the urine sample.

Optional questionnaire
You fill in a short questionnaire. It asks:

•    what you think about having the cervical test and the urine test
•    where you would prefer to do the screening in future for example at the GPs or at home

You don’t have to agree to do this questionnaire. 

Hospital visits

There are no hospital visits or extra GP visits if you take part.

Side effects

There are no side effects if you take part.



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

Professor Emma Crosbie

Supported by

University of Manchester
National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

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.

Over 60,000 cancer patients enrolled on clinical trials in the UK last year.

Last reviewed:

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