HPV vaccination prevents genital warts in males

Feb 04, 2011 by Lin Edwards report

(PhysOrg.com) -- A new international study shows the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine protects against genital warts and other lesions associated with HPV in males. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease and affects men and women. It has been linked to genital warts and cancers of the cervix and, more rarely, cancers of the vagina, anus, penis and mouth.

The protects against four types of HPV infection: HPV-6, HPV-11, HPV-16, and HPV-18, and potentially also protects against or other lesions associated with these infections. Two HPV vaccines — Cervarix and Gardasil — are now recommended for girls aged nine and over to prevent cervical cancer.

Gardasil is also FDA-approved as a prevention of genital warts associated with HPV-6 and HPV-11, and in October 2010 was recommended for optional use in boys and young men from 9 to 26. The current study was carried out because until now the focus has been on using the to prevent and little research has been done on the effects of the vaccine in men.

The study included over 4,000 sexually active males aged 16 to 26 and originating from 18 countries and was a randomized double-blind and placebo-controlled clinical trial. There were two groups of subjects: one group was free of HPV at the start, and were given the vaccine; the other group were not all free of HPV at the start and were given either the vaccine or a placebo regardless of their HPV status.

The subjects were followed for the next two to three years and in the first group the efficacy against HPV-related lesions was over 90 percent. In the second group, of those given the vaccine only about 0.5 percent developed genital warts, while around 2.8 percent of those who received the placebo developed them. There was also a reduction in the incidence of HPV infections lasting for six months or more in those who were given the vaccine, but the difference was less dramatic.

Leaders of the study were Dr Anna Giuliano from the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Tampa, Florida, and Dr Joel Palefsky of the University of California, San Francisco. Dr Giuliano said Gardasil vaccine can prevent external infections, which means if boys are vaccinated early enough most cases of genital warts can be prevented. This raises the question of whether or not all boys and young men should be encouraged to be vaccinated. Dr Palefsky said the “burden of vaccination should not fall solely on girls and women” because men are affected by HPV as well as women. Men who have homosexual sex would not benefit from vaccination of girls and women.

Dr Palefsky said the vaccine appears to be safe, but the disadvantage is that a universal vaccination program of males would be costly, and most of the serious diseases caused by HPV, such as cervical , affect only women.

The results of the study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine did not look at the effects of the vaccine on cancers. Merck, the manufacturer of Gardasil, designed and funded the research and analyzed the data, with the help of Drs Giuliano, Palefsky and colleagues. Additional funding was provided by the National Institutes of Health. Several members of the research team, including Dr Giuliano, also received speaking fees, travel cost reimbursements, or fees for board membership from Merck. Other members of the research team are employees of Merck and own Merck stock or options.

Explore further: Italy bans Novartis flu vaccine after suspicious deaths

More information: Efficacy of Quadrivalent HPV Vaccine against HPV Infection and Disease in Males: N Engl J Med 2011; 364:401-411. www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa0909537

Related Stories

Some men want girls' vaccine, too

Feb 23, 2007

Some British gay men want to be vaccinated with the drug approved to protect girls from cervical cancer, saying it could help them, too.

FDA considers expanded use of HPV vaccine

Mar 20, 2008

Pharmaceutical manufacturer Merck & Co. Inc. said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will consider expanding the use of its cervical cancer vaccine.

New HPV vaccine under study

Nov 19, 2007

A new vaccine against nine of the most harmful strains of human papillomavirus is under study at the Medical College of Georgia.

HPV vaccines may reduce a wide range of genital diseases

Feb 05, 2010

High-coverage human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations among adolescents and young women may result in a rapid reduction of genital warts, cervical cell abnormalities, and diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, researchers ...

Recommended for you

Have a cold? Don't ask your doctor for antibiotics

Nov 26, 2014

Antibiotic resistance is a major threat to public health. Resistance makes it harder for physicians to treat infections and can increase the chance patients will die from an infection. What is more, the treatment ...

Powdered measles vaccine found safe in early clinical trials

Nov 25, 2014

A measles vaccine made of fine dry powder and delivered with a puff of air triggered no adverse side effects in early human testing and it is likely effective, according to a paper to be published November 28 in the journal ...

User comments : 4

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Moebius
5 / 5 (4) Feb 04, 2011
I can't believe the stupidity of this. They won't give it to older men. Who are more likely to have had more sex partners and more likely to need it. And they never mention in any article I've read its effect on people who are already infected. Guess no one would want to know that.
Chef
5 / 5 (1) Feb 04, 2011
So the analysis was not done independently and they were paid extra for speaking, travel fees, and/or reimbursed for costs, as well as run by share holders. Yeah, I trust that review.
Hesca419
not rated yet Feb 04, 2011
"In the second group, of those given the vaccine only about 0.5 percent developed genital warts, while around 2.8 percent of those who received the placebo developed them."

Yeah, it's not enough, but that's the info they give on the people who were already infected. No information on their ability to carry the infection, which I really thought would have been key.

I suspect they'll give it to whomever will pay for it. I just wouldn't expect insurance to help. Like birth control, it will likely remain a "woman's problem" from their point-of-view.

Still, I wonder if I can talk a doc into hooking me up with some of this... if only it wasn't $400!
pozlove
not rated yet Feb 06, 2011
It was reported that "The virus is spread through all types of close sexual contact but using condoms and vaccination against HPV will reduce the risk."

Check more HPV support site on HPVmatch.net!!!

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.