The latest news from the world of human papillomavirus (HPV) in February 2020.
Single HPV vaccine dose may be effective against cervical cancer
A new study has shown that just a single dose of the HPV vaccine may be as effective for preventing cervical cancer as multiple doses. Ana M. Rodriguez, MD, MPH, of The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston sampled over 100,000 females, both vaccinated and unvaccinated. It was found that those who had been vaccinated had a lower incidence of developing cervical disease. The study analysed the data from those vaccinated with one, two, and three doses. For those who received one dose, the risk of cervical disease was 36% lower than those who had not been vaccinated, compared with a 34% reduction for those who had three doses. The results show that a single dose may be sufficient for cervical cancer prevention, which would reduce costs, be more logistically feasible, and overall help with access to the vaccine worldwide.
Japan's halt of regular HPV vaccine could cause thousands of cancer deaths: study
In June 2013, the Japanese government made the decision to stop actively recommending the HPV vaccine following claims of adverse side effects. A study has estimated that this decision could result in more than 24,600 preventable cervical cancer cases, leading to almost 11,000 deaths over the next 50 years. The study, published in Lancet Public Health, used population and medical data to forecast these predictions. Most of this outcome could be prevented by the government resuming their promotion of the HPV vaccine. Since Japan’s health ministry made this decision, vaccine uptake rates have dropped from 70% to less than 1%. Lawmakers will be holding talks on the vaccine this summer, and 9 leaders have signed a letter supporting the vaccine. It is hoped that the government will resume their recommendation and prevent so many lives being lost.
NCI awards $8.3 million for research into prevention of HPV-related cancers
The National Cancer institute has awarded Weill Cornell Medicine, Moffitt Cancer Center and Universidade de Sao Paulo in Brazil $8.3 million over 5 years to study preventing HPV-related cancers in people with HIV. There will be clinical trials focusing on both oropharyngeal and cervical cancer, both of which are significantly more prevalent among those with HIV. The trials will investigate the HPV 9-valent vaccine and its efficacy preventing oral HPV in men with HIV, screening tests to detect premalignant cervical lesions, and a novel therapeutic HPV vaccine.
Study finds blood test accurately tracks HPV-linked head and neck cancer
A blood test study led by University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers has detected recurrence of HPV-linked head and neck cancers. The latest research monitored 115 patients who had undergone chemotherapy and radiation for oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma linked to HPV16. It was reported that the blood test was 99% accurate when determining if patients had remained free of cancer post-treatment, and 94% accurate when detecting a cancer recurrence in patients. The test detects HPV genetic material left in the blood by dying cancer cells, distinguishing between HPV from a tumour and HPV from a normal infection. This method will be widely useful as it is a simple and effective way to monitor patients post-treatment, without the need for invasive, costly, and often inaccurate screening procedures.