Cervical cancer is a sexually transmitted infection caused by HPV that can spread through vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has the virus. The new vaccine called 9-Valent HPV vaccine covers protection against seven HPV varieties and also act against 19,000 other related cancers such as anal, oropharyngeal and penile cancers, said the researchers.
The new vaccine scores a 13% increase in protecting mostly women against HPV or cervical cancers, compared to earlier versions such as Gardasil and Cervarix, which mainly act against HPV 16 and 18 types.
“This is the first comprehensive study of its kind and shows the potential to not only reduce the global cancer burden, but also guide clinical decision-making with regard to childhood vaccinations,” said Marc Goodman from Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute.
The new 9-Valent vaccine, to be sold as Gardasil-9, will also cover 8% of oropharyngeal cancers, which occur in the tongue and tonsils, which are the second-most-common HPV-associated cancers.
In their study, researchers observed 2,670 HPV DNA tissue samples from 7 commnities of cancer registries. The California-based Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre has undertaken the study in partnership with US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study has been published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Almost all cervical cancers are caused by HPV but participation rates for the HPV vaccine among adolescent women is found to be very low at around 30%, which means two-thirds of those who start never finish the entire course. However, compared to other vaccines, HPV still scores higher. Researchers compared data for 6,019 patients whose clinics had sent prompts to 9,096 who came forward without prompts.
Of late, reminders are sent for colon and breast cancer screenings and flu shots too.