Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Vaccine against Cervical Cancer Passes "Proof of Principle". (News)

Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Vaccine against Cervical Cancer Passes "Proof of Principle". (News)

Article excerpt

A recombinant vaccine against the human sexually-transmitted papillomavirus type HPV-16, which is thought to cause as many as half of all cervical cancers, has been shown to prevent long-term HPV-16 infections in a trial with 2400 young women.

This Merck vaccine is the first of what may be several candidates for. a vaccine against HPV infections, some prophylactic and some therapeutic, but it has come through with flying colours. Although the trial was designed to measure HPV infection and not cancer, which occurs with only a small percentage of infections, it may prove significant that nine women in the placebo (unvaccinated) group developed clinical lesions--the beginning of cancer--but none did so in the vaccinated group (New England Journal of Mediate 2002;347:1645-51).

Sonia Pagliusi of the WHO Initative for Vaccine Research told the Bulletin "This is a very interesting vaccine for developing countries as they have 80% of the world's cervical cancer. And they have few other options. They can do the Pap [smear test, requiting cytological observations] but it's not very effective--it's not working. People take the test, but follow-up is difficult".

According to Andreas Ullrich, who works on national cancer control planning issues at WHO, "Cervical cancer is a high priority: it's first or second in developing countries, among all cancers. …

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