, Volume 8, Issue 6, pp 393-401
Date: 03 Jan 2008

Indications and Efficacy of the Human Papillomavirus Vaccine

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Opinion statement

In the United States, there are 11,150 cases and 3670 deaths projected due to invasive cervical cancer for 2007. Approximately 500,000 new cases and 274,000 deaths will occur in women throughout the world. Human papillomavirus (HPV) has been designated by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a “necessary cause” of cervical cancer. There are 6.2 million new cases of HPV diagnosed each year. In addition to cervical cancer, the virus has also been implicated in vaginal, vulvar, penile, anal, and head and neck cancers. Current methods for prevention of cervical cancer include Pap smears, HPV testing, ablative procedures, cervical conization, and hysterectomy. These are costly as well as invasive. The HPV vaccine is the most recent breakthrough for the prevention of cervical cancer. The quadrivalent HPV vaccine (GardasilTM) covers types 6, 11, 16, & 18. The bivalent vaccine (CervarixTM) covers types 16 & 18, and is expected to come out in the early part of 2007. Approximately 70% of cervical cancer is caused by HPV types 16 & 18. HPV types 6 &11 are responsible for 90% of anogenital warts. Females of ages 11–12 and those prior to their sexual debut should be vaccinated, with all females in the age range of 9–26 also eligible. This vaccination strategy can prevent the above HPV infections, cervical dysplasia, and possibly cervical cancer.