health

Study shows major real-world impact of cervical cancer vaccines

14 Comments
By Kate Kelland

Vaccination against the virus that causes almost all cervical cancer is having a major impact on stopping infections and should significantly reduce cases of the disease within a decade, researchers say.

Presenting results of an international analysis covering 60 million people in high-income countries, scientists from Britain and Canada said they found "strong evidence" that vaccination against the human papillomavirus (HPV) works "to prevent cervical cancer in real-world settings".

"We're seeing everything that we'd want to see. We're seeing reductions in the key HPV infections that cause most cervical disease, and we're seeing reductions in cervical disease," said David Mesher, principal scientist at Public Health England, who worked on the research team.

Marc Brisson, a specialist in infectious disease health economics at Canada's Laval University who co-led the study, said the results suggested "we should be seeing substantial reductions in cervical cancer in the next 10 years."

HPV vaccines were first licensed in 2007 and have since then been adopted in at least 100 countries worldwide. Britain’s GSK makes an HPV vaccine called Cervarix, which targets two strains of the virus, while Merck makes a rival shot, Gardasil, which targets nine strains.

In countries with HPV immunisation programmes, the vaccines are usually offered to girls before they become sexually active to protect against cervical and other HPV-related cancers.

Brisson's team gathered data on 60 million people over eight years from 65 separate studies conducted in 14 countries and pooled it to assess the vaccines' impact.

They found that the two HPV types that cause 70% of cervical cancers - known as HPV 16 and HPV 18 - were significantly reduced after vaccination, with an 83% decline in infections in girls aged 13 to 19 and 66% drop in women aged 20 to 24 after five to eight years of vaccination.

Figures released in February by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer showed an estimated 570,000 new cases of cervical cancer were diagnosed worldwide in 2018, making it the fourth most common cancer in women globally.

Each year, more than 310,000 women die from cervical cancer, the vast majority of them in poorer countries where HPV immunization coverage is low or non-existent.

Brisson urged governments in the most-affected countries to take note: "Our results show the vaccines are working - so I hope in the upcoming years we will ...see rates of HPV vaccination increase in countries that need it most," he said.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

14 Comments
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Great news!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

These are good results - let's hope it really does translate into fewer cases of cervical cancer.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

You do not want results that "Suggest" as these researchers say.

You want results that "indicate" and we have yet to see results that indicate this vaccine works other than the staggering profits made by vaccine manufacturers who are lobbying to make all vaccines mandatory on teh suggestion it works.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

You want results that "indicate"

Sorry but that is nonsense, suggest and indicate in this context are interchangable (and yes, indicate is used in the report also) in science both words are used to express that this results are only expected if the vaccine is effective as the rest of the decades of research have predicted.

If you think this is not real you are free to present your evidence, with a higher weigh than 60 million people in 100 countries that give a trend even stronger than expected for the drop of cancer directly attributable to the vaccine. If you do not have this evidence then why should it carry the same weight?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Did you read the article Bofo?

We are seeing reduced incidence of the HPV infections.

It is known that HPV infections are a causative factor in cervical cancer over time. It will take time for lower infection rates to show up as lower cervical cancer rates and lower cancer deaths.

Do you care about cervical cancer?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Bollox ! Who funded the study. Ask the girls/ladies damaged by the Vaccine what they think of it's effectiveness

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

More are saved than harmed. More than 10 year study.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I believe there was some controversy when this vaccine was introduced, with a higher than normal reported side-effect rate compared to other vaccines. This Independent article sparked a lot of discussion.

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/thousands-of-teenage-girls-report-feeling-seriously-ill-after-routine-school-cancer-vaccination-10286876.html

The article would have been better if it hadn't just reported on the positive things. It sounds a bit like a feelgood PR piece that most companies like to put out. Some facts such as what percentage of people carrying the HPV virus eventually develop cancer would help. Also, given this site's context, why did Japan remove HPV from the recommended vaccine list in 2013? Was it just in response to scaremongering? There is an interesting article here:

https://ijme.in/articles/lessons-learnt-in-japan-from-adverse-reactions-to-the-hpv-vaccine-a-medical-ethics-perspective/?galley=html

More are saved than harmed

Is that always a good thing? The same argument could be used for bombing civilian areas in times of war.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Ask the girls/ladies damaged by the Vaccine what they think of it's effectiveness

I'd rather ask someone who knows what they're talking about.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The amount of money given to medical research is astronomical so the researchers are under tremendous pressure to produce something, when produced they promote only the good

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The amount of money given to medical research is astronomical so the researchers are under tremendous pressure to produce something, when produced they promote only the good

To be able to prevent a particular cancer so directly by vaccination is undeniably good. It's also good to prevent the spread of a sexually transmitted virus that is linked to several other cancers and a variety of unpleasant symptoms affecting the genitalia, mouth, throat, and anus.

Platitudes such as the one you offer above don't contribute anything to the subject. The real story here is that a vaccine is dramatically reducing one of the most terrible and difficult-to-treat cancers, and is doing it safely.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Bollox ! Who funded the study. Ask the girls/ladies damaged by the Vaccine what they think of it's effectiveness

Read the conflict of interest statement, its trivially easy to find. And why would you want to go down several levels and take in account flawed, limited and subjective data when you can have much more reliable one? What can a single person tell you about the millions others?

I believe there was some controversy when this vaccine was introduced, with a higher than normal reported side-effect rate compared to other vaccines. This Independent article sparked a lot of discussion.

That has already been studied and proven there is no such thing, serious adverse effects are not more common in vaccinated girls than in the general population, and the only more common are subjective, transient and known to be susceptible to peer pressure (inespecific pain, weakness, etc.)

Also, given this site's context, why did Japan remove HPV from the recommended vaccine list in 2013? Was it just in response to scaremongering?

The opinion of the professionals involved is that yes, as it has happened in the past several times the Japanese government always chooses to err on the side of caution, it always removes the recommendation from any new health intervention that has any reports of side effects above the normal, usually way before it is investigated scientifically.

Is that always a good thing? The same argument could be used for bombing civilian areas in times of war.

It is when there it can be clearly demonstrated without realistic doubts, if every victim still have better chances with the vaccine than without it there is no comparison possible with people being bombed.

The amount of money given to medical research is astronomical so the researchers are under tremendous pressure to produce something, when produced they promote only the good

Well, of course, but the money do not come from pharmaceutical companies as much as you think, finding a vaccine is not as effective as thought or has more negative side effects? that is a very good result. Its the kind of results that can make a research institute or university world famous (and get as much grants as they can handle) because (if they have the data) they would be proving to be better scientists than anybody else.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

the Japanese government always chooses to err on the side of caution, it always removes the recommendation from any new health intervention that has any reports of side effects above the normal

Is that not a good thing? Some of us have memories of thalidomide.

if every victim still have better chances with the vaccine than without

But a chance of what?

Don't get me wrong, I'm a strong supporter of vaccination programs. But I also think there are differences among the various vaccination programs - risk of disease versus risk of side effects. Polio, measles, rubella, influenza, mumps, tuberculosis, cervical cancer - they are not all the same. My big grump is that we don't get clear information. It seems you have to be for or against vaccination, informed decision making seems to be discouraged.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Is that not a good thing? Some of us have memories of thalidomide.

no, not necessarily, unfounded unscientific evidence preventing the recommendation of a safe and effective health intervention have a cost in human lives. There are precise and well documented algorithms to evaluate risks, Japan's government don't follow them and simply do what is more popular with the electorate, even if its not the best for them.

But a chance of what?

Of a long and healthy life of course.

But I also think there are differences among the various vaccination programs

Yes, which are detailed and examined by professionals before and after each program is instituted.

My big grump is that we don't get clear information.

You can either get simple and general information, or detailed and complicated information that deals with very specific details on infectology, immunology and epidemiology that requires a lot of knowledge to properly interpret. Both are available.

If you have the necessary studies go to pubmed and clinicaltrials.gov and get the information, it will be clear for you. If not your only option is to leave that work to the experts and trust that they are doing their work as evidenced by the increase of the life expectancy and health levels of the population.

It seems you have to be for or against vaccination, informed decision making seems to be discouraged.

Its irrelevant for what I am about, the arguments are the only important thing. Informed decision is not to be discouraged, only the irrational position of people that gets told that detailed information is not for everybody to understand if they don't put an effort to study, get the info, as expected don't understand it and then complain that the truth is hidden from them.

You want more details? study to understand them. You don't want to study them? then accept the consequences and trust the people that spends their lives studying it and the obvious consequences on public health of that trust.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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