HPV vaccine gives prolonged protection against genital warts and low-grade pre-cancerous growths

Jul 21, 2010

Vaccination against certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) gives strong and sustained protection against genital warts and pre-cancerous growths of the cervix, according to a new study published in the British Medical Journal today.

An international study found that the quadrivalent HPV vaccine is helpful in preventing warts and low grade lesions related to HPV (types 6, 11, 16 and 18).

HPVs are responsible for around 500,000 cases of a year globally and 10 million further cases of high grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia, which are immediate precusors to malignant cancerous growths.

In addition, it is estimated that 30 million women and men acquire anogenital warts (known as condyloma acuminata) or low-grade cervical growths each year.

The vaccine for HPV types 6, 11, 16 and 18 has the potential to prevent about 70% of cervical cancers and 90% of genital warts, but what contribution the vaccines make to low grade growths is still uncertain.

So an international group of investigators set out to find how useful the vaccines were in preventing low grade disease.

They studied results from 17,622 women aged 16-26 enrolled into two studies between December 2001 and May 2003. The women were enrolled from primary care centres and university or hospital associated health centres in 24 countries and territories around the world.

The women were split at random into two groups - one group was given three doses of HPV vaccine (for types 6, 11, 16 and 18) at day 1, month 2, and month 6 of the study, while the other women were given a placebo.

Results showed that amongst previously unexposed women who had received the vaccine, it was highly effective (96-100%) for preventing low grade lesions attributable to HPV types 6, 11, 16 and 18 for up to four years.

It also had considerable effectiveness against any lesion (regardless of HPV type), with a reduction of 30% of cervical low-grade growths, 48% of vulvar and 75% of vaginal low-grade growths. were reduced by 83%.

The authors say the prolonged effectiveness of the vaccine in preventing low grade lesions is important and conclude: "These lesions occur shortly after infection and a reduction in these lesions will be the earliest clinically noticeable health gain to be realised by HPV vaccination.

"Low-grade cervical and vulvovaginal lesions are important from a public health perspective, as the diagnosis, follow-up, and treatment of these common lesions are associated with substantial patient anxiety, morbidity, and healthcare costs."

Explore further: The effects of rapid diagnostic tests for malaria in African healthcare settings

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

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 ...

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.

Study on government's controversial choice of HPV vaccine

Jul 18, 2008

The UK government may save up to £18.6 million a year by deciding to use the HPV vaccine Cervarix, given that it is equally effective as the more expensive Gardasil in preventing cervical abnormalities, according to a study ...

Recommended for you

Researchers discover target for treating dengue fever

14 hours ago

Two recent papers by a University of Colorado School of Medicine researcher and colleagues may help scientists develop treatments or vaccines for Dengue fever, West Nile virus, Yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis and other ...

Tracking flu levels with Wikipedia

14 hours ago

Can monitoring Wikipedia hits show how many people have the flu? Researchers at Boston Children's Hospital, USA, have developed a method of estimating levels of influenza-like illness in the American population by analysing ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Leeches help save woman's ear after pit bull mauling

(HealthDay)—A pit bull attack in July 2013 left a 19-year-old woman with her left ear ripped from her head, leaving an open wound. After preserving the ear, the surgical team started with a reconnection ...

Male monkey filmed caring for dying mate (w/ Video)

(Phys.org) —The incident was captured by Dr Bruna Bezerra and colleagues in the Atlantic Forest in the Northeast of Brazil.  Dr Bezerra is a Research Associate at the University of Bristol and a Professor ...

Scientists tether lionfish to Cayman reefs

Research done by U.S. scientists in the Cayman Islands suggests that native predators can be trained to gobble up invasive lionfish that colonize regional reefs and voraciously prey on juvenile marine creatures.