Reduced Risk of Cervical Lesions Associated with HPV Vaccination

Gardasil Vaccine BottleInitial studies of the HPV vaccine have indicated that the vaccine is highly effective against HPV16/18-associated cervical cancer. Now use of the quadrivalent HPV vaccine has reduced the risk of cervical lesions among girls and women in Denmark after only six years, says a new study published the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The quadrivalent HPV vaccine protects against four types of human papillomavirus virus (HPV).

A cervical lesion is an area of abnormal tissue found on the cervix. Some cervical lesions are indicative of cervical cancer.

Licensed in Denmark in 2006, the quadrivalent HPV vaccine was subsequently included in the general childhood vaccination programs for girls free of charge in the country. The vaccine was also made available to girls and women and to boys and men not covered by the program for a fee.

Although the HPV vaccine is too new to state conclusively that its use reduces the risk of cervical cancer, the present Danish study offers more evidence of the efficacy.

For the present study, Susanne Krüger Kjaer, MD, and a research team from Unit of Virus, Lifestyle and Genes, Danish Cancer Society Research Center in Copenhagen, Denmark performed a nationwide population-based study of HPV-related cervical abnormalities in vaccinated versus unvaccinated women. The researchers identified all girls and women born in Denmark between 1989 and 1999. The researchers then obtained the corresponding HPV vaccination status in 2006 to 2012 and information on incident cases of cervical lesions for each participant.

The study found that the risks of cervical atypia (abnormal cervical cells) or worse (atypia+) and cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2 or 3 (CIN2/3) were significantly reduced among the vaccinated women born between 1991 and 1994 versus the unvaccinated women. The risk of cervical atypia was also reduced among the vaccinated women born between 1989 and 1990 versus the unvaccinated women. No cervical lesions were identified among the girls born between 1997 and 1999.

In other words, the quadrivalent HPV vaccine appears to reduce the risk of cervical lesions, subsequently reducing the risk of cervical cancer.

As the researchers conclude, “In conclusion, our results show that vaccination with the quadrivalent HPV vaccine is already effective in reducing the risk for cervical precursor lesions at population level among young women in Denmark.”


Frequently Asked Questions About Cervical Cancer:
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