Tuesday July 23, 2019

HPV Vaccines Are Effective, Especially For Teens

The Cochrane research pooled data and results from 26 studies involving more than 73,000 women across all continents over the last eight years.

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She noted that some campaign groups have expressed concern about HPV vaccines, but said this review had found no evidence to support claims of increased risk of harm.
HPV Vaccine i effective on teenage girls, Pexels

Vaccines designed to prevent infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) are effective in protecting against pre-cancerous cervical lesions in women, particularly in those vaccinated between age 15 and 26, according to a large international evidence review.

The research by scientists at the scientific network the Cochrane Review also found no increase in the risk of serious side effects, with rates of around 7 percent reported by both HPV-vaccinated and control groups.

“This review should reassure people that HPV vaccination is effective,” Jo Morrison, a consultant in gynecological oncology at Britain’s Musgrove Park Hospital, told reporters at a briefing about the review’s findings.

She noted that some campaign groups have expressed concern about HPV vaccines, but said this review had found no evidence to support claims of increased risk of harm.

HPV is one of the common sexually transmitted diseases. Most infections do not cause symptoms and go away on their own, but when the immune system does not clear the virus, persistent HPV infection can cause abnormal cervical cells.

Drugmakers GlaxoSmithKline and Merck make vaccines that protect against HPV.
A girls getting vaccine, VOA

These pre-cancerous lesions can progress to cervical cancer if left untreated. HPV is a leading cause of cancer deaths among women worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.

Drugmakers GlaxoSmithKline and Merck make vaccines that protect against HPV.

The Cochrane research pooled data and results from 26 studies involving more than 73,000 women across all continents over the last eight years.

The researchers found that in young women who tested negative for HPV, vaccination reduced the risk of developing precancer. About 164 out of every 10,000 women who got placebo developed cervical pre-cancerous lesions, compared with two out of every 10,000 who were vaccinated.

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Looking more broadly across all women in the studies, regardless of whether they had previously had HPV or not, the vaccines were found to be slightly less effective, but still reduced the risk of cervical precancer from 559 per 10,000 to 391 per 10,000.

Experts not directly involved in the review said its findings were robust and important.

“This intensive and rigorous Cochrane analysis … provides reassuring and solid evidence of the safety of these vaccines in young women,” said Margaret Stanley, a specialist in the pathology department at Cambridge University. “It reinforces the evidence that preventing infection by vaccination in young women … reduces cervical precancers dramatically.” (VOA)

 

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Cervical Cancer Vaccines Show Major Impact on Stopping Infections

Britain’s GSK makes an HPV vaccine called Cervarix that targets two strains of the virus

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vaccine preventable diseases
WHO projects fewer children in Africa are likely to receive life-saving vaccines in the coming decades. VOA

Vaccination against the virus that causes almost all cervical cancer is having a major impact on stopping infections and should significantly reduce cases of the disease within a decade, researchers said Wednesday.

Presenting results of an international analysis covering 60 million people in high-income countries, scientists from Britain and Canada said they found “strong evidence” that vaccination against the human papillomavirus (HPV) works “to prevent cervical cancer in real-world settings.”

“We’re seeing everything that we’d want to see. We’re seeing reductions in the key HPV infections that cause most cervical disease, and we’re seeing reductions in cervical disease,” said David Mesher, principal scientist at Public Health England, who worked on the research team.

Marc Brisson, a specialist in infectious disease health economics at Canada’s Laval University who co-led the study, said the results suggested “we should be seeing substantial reductions in cervical cancer in the next 10 years.”m

Cervical Cancer, Vaccines, Infections
Vaccination against the virus that causes almost all cervical cancer is having a major impact. Pixabay

Vaccines in 100 countries

HPV vaccines were first licensed in 2007 and have since been adopted in at least 100 countries worldwide. Britain’s GSK makes an HPV vaccine called Cervarix that targets two strains of the virus, while Merck makes a rival shot, Gardasil, which targets nine strains.

In countries with HPV immunization programs, the vaccines are usually offered to girls before they become sexually active to protect against cervical and other HPV-related cancers.

Brisson’s team gathered data on 60 million people over eight years from 65 separate studies conducted in 14 countries and pooled it to assess the vaccines’ impact.m

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They found that the two HPV types that cause 70% of cervical cancers, known as HPV 16 and HPV 18, were significantly reduced after vaccination, with an 83% decline in infections in girls ages 13 to 19 and a 66% drop in women ages 20 to 24 after five to eight years of vaccination.

Figures released in February by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer showed an estimated 570,000 new cases of cervical cancer were diagnosed worldwide in 2018, making it the fourth most common cancer in women globally.

Poorer countries could benefitm

Cervical Cancer, Vaccines, Infections
HPV vaccines were first licensed in 2007 and have since been adopted in at least 100 countries worldwide. Pixabay

Each year, more than 310,000 women die from cervical cancer, the vast majority of them in poorer countries where HPV immunization coverage is low or non-existent.

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Brisson urged governments in the most-affected countries to take note: “Our results show the vaccines are working, so I hope in the upcoming years we will … see rates of HPV vaccination increase in countries that need it most,” he said. (VOA)