The second most common cause of cancer-related death worldwide is cervical cancer with around 3,00,000 deaths occurring every year. Around 80 % of the death occurs in the developing nations. The discovery of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine has gradually reduced the number of deaths due to cervical cancer. Due to the international effort to improve the HPV vaccine, the medical company is one step closer to preventing HPV- associated diseases.
The researchers from Moffitt Cancer centre also published the final results of the research study showing the newest vaccine which is having high efficacy at preventing HPV infection and disease. This study was also published in The Lancet.
Human Papilloma virus is one of the common virus that can cause infection in humans. By 50 years of age, four out of five women have been infected with the HPV at one point throughout their lifetimes. The common conditions that are seen due to the HPV are genital and anal warts and in few cases continued infections. Continued infection may also increase the risk of benign or cancerous growth of the cervix, vulva, vagina, anus, penis, tonsils and the base of the tongue.
According to the reports, there are more than 100 types of HPV. However, 13 types are associated with the cancer development. HPV-16 and 18 are responsible for 70% of all cervical cancer cases. The vaccines that are known to prevent HPV-16 and 18 are Ceravarix and Gardasil. Gardisal can also prevent genital warts that are caused due to HPV 6 and 11. These vaccines are not effective against all HPV types that are associated with cancer.
An improved vaccine called 9vHPV was developed by the scientists that are known to target HPV16,18,6, 11 and HPV5. HPV5 is also associated with cervical cancer.
Anna R. Giuliano, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Infection Research in Cancer at Moffitt said, “Based on epidemiological studies, the 9vHPV vaccine could prevent approximately 90 percent of cervical cancer, 90 percent of HPV-related vulvar and vaginal cancer, 70 to 85 percent of high-grade cervical disease in females, and approximately 90 percent of HPV-related anal cancer and genital warts in males and females worldwide.”
Researchers from around 18 countries and 105 study sites conducted a phase 3 study to compare and test the activity and efficacy of the new 9vHPV vaccine against the older vaccine that protected HPV types earlier. The participants were medically followed for around 6 years after vaccination and around 14,215 women participated in this phase 3 trial between 16 to 26 years of age.
The test results showed that the 9vHPV has long term activity against HPV infection. 9vHPV can also reduce the risk of developing HPV 31/33/45/52/58 that is related to cervical, vulvar and vaginal diseases up to 97.7 percent when compared to the Gardasil. However, both vaccines show equal activity in preventing HPV 6/11/16/18 associated disease.
Giuliano said, “The 9vHPV vaccine is licensed in over 40 countries for the prevention of HPV-related anogenital cancers and pre-cancer, and genital warts. The results of this study support comprehensive vaccination programs and inform public health decision related to implementation.”