A research paper published in The Lancet Oncology showed that a single dose of the human papillomavirus vaccine Cervarix® may prevent HPV-related cervical cancer.
The paper presented data from two clinical trials, one sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and the other sponsored by GlaxoSmith Kline. Cervarix® is a bi-valent HPV vaccine made by GlaxoSmithKline and licensed in the United States.
The research showed that Cervarix® protected women against the two types of HPV that cause about 75 percent of all cervical cancers whether they received one, two or three doses. The data also showed that the vaccine may protect against other types of HPV if only two doses are given six months apart. The current interval between doses is two months.
Cervical cancer causes the most cancer deaths among women worldwide. About 50 percent of cervical cancers are caused by HPV type 16; HPV type 18 causes another 15 to 25 percent. Cervarix® protects against these two types of HPV but may not protect against other types of HPV or against other causes of cervical cancer.
HPV vaccines are currently approved to be given in the United States as a three-dose series over a six-month period. Women in many parts of the world are not be able to get all three doses of the vaccine. A vaccine given in a single protective dose could be a major health care advance in preventing cervical cancer worldwide.
The authors of the paper include Cosette Wheeler, PhD, an international expert in human papillomavirus diagnostics and epidemiology, health informatics and cervical cancer prevention. Wheeler is a Regents Professor in the Department of Pathology at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. She is also The Victor and Ruby Hansen Surface Chair in Translational Medicine and Public Health Sciences and serves as the Special Populations Staff Investigator at the UNM Cancer Center.
The paper was published in the June 8, 2015, online edition of the The Lancet Oncology (www.thelancet.com/oncology).
The abstract is available at: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanonc/article/PIIS1470-2045(15)70199-3/abstract
The National Cancer Institute and The Lancet Oncology each published a press release about the paper.
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