HPV Vaccine Highly Effective Against Multiple Cancer-Causing Strains; Positive Effects Most Obvious in 15-17 Age Group; Study Leader Suggests Boys Also Be Vaccinated

According to a multi-national, clinical trial involving nearly 20,000 young women, the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine Cervarix, not only has the potential to prevent cervical cancer, but was effective against other common cancer-causing human papillomaviruses, aside from just the two HPV types, 16 and 18, which are responsible for about 70 percent of all cases. That effectiveness endured for the study's entire follow-up length of up to four years. The research was published on February 4, 2015 in Clinical and Vaccine Immunology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology. "The study confirms that targeting young adolescent girls before sexual debut for prophylactic HPV vaccination has a substantial impact on the incidence of high-grade cervical abnormalities," said corresponding author, Dr. Dan Apter, Director, The Sexual Health Clinic, Family Federation of Finland, Helsinki. The vaccine was extremely effective in young women who had never been infected with HPV. It protected nearly all from HPV-16 and -18, and protected 50-100 percent against different grades of pre-cancerous transformation of cervical cells caused by other strains of HPV, including up to 100 percent of those with the immediate precursor grade to cancer. The women were followed for up to four years post-vaccination. The vaccine was distinctly more effective among ages 15-17 than ages18-25, underscoring the value of vaccinating young adolescents, said Dr. Apter. The lower efficacy in the oldest age group may result from a larger proportion of women in that age group having had persistent infections at the time of vaccination, he said .
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