HPV vaccine does stop pre-cervical cancer lesions: Lancet

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HPV vaccine does stop pre-cervical cancer lesions: Lancet

A new review of the HPV vaccination has renewed hopes that the jab could one day eradicate cervical cancer.

"Because of our finding, we believe the World Health Organization call for action to eliminate cervical cancer may be possible in many countries if sufficient vaccination coverage can be achieved", Marc Brisson, a professor at Laval University in Canada and one of the study's authors, said in a statement.

Cervical cancer could be eliminated in the United Kingdom within a few decades thanks to the school vaccination programme, scientists say.

The paper looked only at studies carried out in high-income countries where there has not been opposition to the vaccine. In such countries after five to eight years of vaccination, anogenital wart diagnoses declined by 88% among girls and 86% in boys aged 15-19 years compared with 44% among girls and 1% among boys from countries with single-cohort or low routine vaccination coverage.

With the continued coverage of HPV vaccinations, there could be a significant fall and a possible eradication of this chronic illness over the next few decades, the scientists said.

However, the new study is analyzing very serious the HPV vaccination programs that are now in the developed countries. They focussed on the rates of pre-cancerous growth in the cervix called CIN, genital warts and HPV.

Study leader Professor Marc Brisson said: 'What we are working on now is trying to determine when elimination will occur.

Dr David Mesher, of Public Health England, added: 'There will be a time in the future where we will see very low rates of cervical cancer'.

Scientists reviewed 65 studies of 60 million people in 14 high income countries and found vaccination has led to an 83 per cent reduction in HPV infections among 15 to 19 year old girls, over the course of five to eight years. In Japan, the vaccination programme was suspended.

In the coming years, researchers expect rates of cervical cancer will also start to decrease substantially, as people who were vaccinated as children get older.

Worldwide, the impact of HPV-related cancers is greater, with high-risk infections causing about 5% of all cancers globally, according to the institute. "The results show that the vaccines are working towards preventing cervical cancer, so I hope that we will be able in coming years to increase vaccination coverage in numerous countries that need it most".

They say chastity is the only proven safe and effective means of controlling cervical cancer.

"In theory, as you vaccinate more and more people, the ability to spread disease also decreases", he said.

"If we are to realise the dream of eliminating cervical cancer then we will need to ensure that our limited supplies of vaccines are prioritised to the countries that need them the most", he said. Adults older than 45 who had not been vaccinated are not advised to do so, since HPV vaccines are not licensed for use in that age group.

What is the human papilloma virus (HPV)?

"This study furthers the growing evidence to counteract those who don't believe that this vaccine works, which is now extremely encouraging", said chief executive Robert Music.

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