Despite the obstacles presented by another unprecedented year, we continue to make strides to end the suffering caused by HPV.
In this Year in Review, we reflect on a year of advances preventing 5% of cancers. As we build upon these initiatives in 2022, we thank you and all that you do.
Eliminating HPV Cancers in Europe
Our efforts in Europe continue apace! Just 14 months after the establishment of the European HPV Action Network, we achieved a European Commission ‘flagship’ commitment to gender-neutral HPV vaccination. As a result, for the first time, the EU will dedicate resources to eliminate all HPV-caused cancers.
It is evident that significant disparities exist between states in cancer prevention programs, a vital difference we are taking steps to address in order to prevent HPV cancers across the continent.
To support these actions, the Network has:
Commissioned research to map the current state of HPV vaccination and cervical cancer screening across the European region.
Commissioned an ‘umbrella review’ of interventions used to improve HPV vaccine uptake in children, adolescents and young adults.
Called for the establishment of an HPV Vaccine Tracker to be established by European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
Published a report recommending the greater use of HPV self-sampling testing in national cervical cancer screening programmes.
In 2022, we will support the implementation of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan across the continent. This work will include supporting advocacy and education efforts in countries which are falling behind in cancer prevention in addition to building on the momentum created by Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan and the WHO’s Cervical Cancer Elimination Strategy.
Getting stakeholders round the table
Director David Winterflood presented at several roundtables in 2021 on the opportunity provided by gender neutral vaccination programmes to end preventable cancer. In October, a study published in the Lancet reported that vaccinating girls against HPV in England had cut rates of cervical cancer by 87% in this cohort. This is incredibly exciting news, and as the causal agent of 5% of all cancers, we can expect to see rates of all HPV cancers reduce significantly over the coming years with increased vaccination. To that effect, we renewed calls in the UK for a catch-up programme for boys who have missed out on this life-saving intervention following the expansion of the HPV vaccine programme in 2019.
Rowing, Riding and Running to END HPV
The passion of our participants never ceases to amaze us! Athletes took to the Mediterranean for the 5th edition of our Barcelona - Ibiza: Row to End HPV events, pushing themselves to their limits in addition to spreading the word about the connection between HPV and cancer in their communities and beyond. Additionally, we were grateful to continue our partnership with the Haute Route, lighting up the most beautiful and infamous climbs across Europe in our ochre gold jerseys and ‘END HPV’ socks which were worn with pride by the 300 attendees of the Ventoux event! And proving that lack of boats or bikes is no impediment to those passionate about ending cancer, our first cohort of runners took on the iconic London Marathon, racing the streets of the capital. We thank all our athletes for their sacrifice and energy as NOMEN.