What the HPV Vaccine Achieved in Only 6 Years

Maurie Markman, MD


April 02, 2019

This transcript has been edited for clarity.

Hello. I'm Dr Maurie Markman from Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Philadelphia. I wanted to briefly discuss a very important paper which recently appeared in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, entitled, "Trends in Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Types 16 and 18 in Cervical Precancers, 2008-2014."[1]

The medical community is very aware of the extraordinary effectiveness of HPV vaccination, as data from multiple clinical trials have demonstrated a substantial reduction in the risk for types 16 and 18—the major causes of cervical cancer, as many as 70%-80% of cases worldwide—in the trial setting.

Although one would have predicted that when the vaccine was widely available, the data would show a reduction in the risk for HPV 16/18 in the population, it was important to confirm this result, which was presented in the paper I just mentioned.

This study included 10,206 women aged 18-39 who had either cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grades 2-3 or adenocarcinoma in situ. Over time, the incidence of HPV 16/18 declined from 52.7% in 2008—remembering that the vaccine was only introduced in 2006—to 44.1% in 2014.

These results demonstrate how, when the vaccine is used in the community, it has led—only a few years later—to a major reduction in two types of HPV which are highly related to the development of cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer takes many years to develop, so it will be years before we see an actual reduction in the incidence of cervical cancer worldwide. However, with the substantial reduction we are seeing already in HPV 16/18, it is very clear that the vaccine is doing exactly what the clinical trials suggested.

One can only strongly encourage young adolescents—both young men and young women—to receive this incredibly effective and incredibly safe cancer prevention strategy.

I encourage all of you who are interested in the epidemiology of HPV and the stunning results of a major public health advance to review this paper in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Thank you very much for your attention.

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