Good news in the fight against the human papillomavirus, also known as HPV, as a new vaccine against the virus is showing it can cut cervical cancer risk by 80 percent. The new vaccine, which is called 9-Valent human papillomavirus vaccine, includes seven types of HPV, and can be given to children at age 11 or 12. Doctors and pediatricians have been trying to get parents of both boys and girls to get this vaccine, because HPV effects both genders, although it is more serious for women in terms of long-term health complications.
This new vaccine includes HPV types 16,18,31,33,45,52, and 58, and also has the power to help protect against about 19,000 other types of cancers diagnosed in the United States as well. 9-Valent human papillomavirus, can help protect against penile cancer, anal cancer, and oropharyngeal cancer just to name a few. This new vaccine offers a 13 percent increase in protection against HPV-related cancers compared to the first vaccine on the market which was Gardasil. Gardasil and Cervarix were the first HPV vaccines on the market, but they had only protected people against strains 16 and 18 of the human papilloma virus.
The results of the latest vaccine is published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, and it comes out of a seven-center study. Cedars-Sinai and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention initiated the new research study. This was the first study that showed the potential of helping guide clinicians in terms of childhood vaccinations and also help reduce the risks of several cancers throughout the world. The senior author of the study is Marc T. Goodman, who is the director of Cancer Prevention and Genetics at Cedars-Sinai Samual Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute.
The newest vaccine is trademarked under Gardasil-9, and in terms of HPV-related cancers, oropharyngeal cancer is the second-most-common diagnosed. 9-Valent can protect against 8 percent more of this particular type of cancer, which affects the base of the tongue and the tonsils. Goodman said that 70 percent of all tissue samples from people with oropharyngeal cancer ended up having HPV. This is significant because it showed that sexual behaviors had changed, including more oral on genital contact, which is how HPV can be spread into the mouth. Hollywood actor Michael Douglas made waves when he talked about his throat cancer being from HPV, although it seems that people did not get the message about how quickly HPV can spread though oral sex.
Researchers examined 2.670 HPV DNA tissue samples from seven different cancer registries to come up with the data for this study. The researchers want to continue to expand on the research by following up on just how well the vaccines for HPV work against the HPV-related cancers using more data and samples. The issue is that since the HPV vaccines are a fairly new thing, it will take quite a while to compile large enough samples to definitively show how effective these vaccines are against HPV and HPV-related cancers. The more parents that vaccine their children against HPV, the more data researchers will be able to go off of in later studies, and the more it will help protect the population from certain cancers and the cost associated with cancer treatment.
If bowel cancer were also sexually transmitted, more people would have heard that it’s also preventable. In fact it can be prevented by removing pre-cancerous “polyps” during a colonoscopy, if you act soon enough. – @blood_in_toilet