HPV Vaccine Reduces Early Signs of Cancer
The rate ofِ teenage Australian girls showing early signs ofِ cervical cancer fell nearlyِ inِ halfِ followingِ the start ofِ a national program toِ vaccinate women againstِ the human papilloma virus, a newِ study shows.
The study isِ the firstِ to demonstrate thatِ a vaccine program canِ lower theِ rate ofِ precancerous cervical lesions inِ a population.
Australia’s HPV vaccine program began in April 2007.
The result isِ not surprising, saidِ Dr.
Maura Gillison ofِ Ohio State University, whoِ studies theِ role ofِ HPV inِ cancer andِ was notِ involved inِ the Australian study.
In clinical trials, theِ HPV vaccines wereِ demonstrated toِ beِ extraordinarily effective inِ preventing theِ development ofِ cervical pre-cancers caused byِ HPV 16 andِ 18, saidِ Gillison, referring toِ theِ two viral strains believed toِ lead toِ cervical cancer.
The results of the new study are published online today in the journal The Lancet.
The Australian study
The researchers, led byِ Dr.
Julia Brotherton ofِ the Victorian Cytology Service Registries inِ East Melbourne, usedِ data inِ a national registry ofِ pap test results.
(The pap test, doneِ during gynecological exams, detects theِ presence ofِ HPV inِ cervical cells.) Before theِ vaccination program, eightِ out ofِ everyِ 1,000 girls younger thanِ 18 wereِ foundِ to haveِ high-grade cervical abnormalities.
Differences in the U.S.
While theِ findings mightِ beِ anِ early sign ofِ the real-life effect ofِ the vaccine, theِ results shouldِ beِ viewed withِ caution, wrote Dr.
Centers forِ Disease Control andِ Prevention inِ anِ editorial accompanying theِ study.
In Australia, aboutِ 80 percent ofِ girls ages 12 toِ 13 haveِ received theِ HPV vaccine sinceِ 2007, Gillison said.