New HPV vaccine may protect against 90% of cervical cancers

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New HPV vaccine may protect against 90% of cervical cancers

During 2012, there were 919 cervical cancer deaths in the UK

The HPV vaccine is recommended for all girls age 12 to 13

“New HPV vaccine stops 90% of cervical cancers,” the Mail Online reports. The vaccine, which protects against nine common strains of the cancer-causing human papilloma virus (HPV), has proved both safe and effective in a study involving 14,000 women. HPV is one of the major causes of cervical cancer, as well as genital warts.

The current HPV vaccine, Gardasil, which the NHS offers to all girls aged 12 to 13, protects against the two most common strains associated with cervical cancer, as well as an additional two strains known to cause genital warts. Research suggests Gardasil can prevent around 70% of potential cervical cancers.

The new vaccine covers these four strains and five additional ones. This latest study indicates this may provide protection against 90% of cases. And researchers found the new vaccine reduced the incidence of cancer from these extra five strains to 0.1 cases per 1,000 person-years, compared with 1.6 cases per 1,000 person-years.

It is important to note that the study was conducted in women aged 16 to 26, which is much older than the 12 to 13 age group currently offered vaccination, and may affect the results. In addition, the participants were only followed up for 4.5 years. Longer studies including other age groups are now required.

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