HPV Vaccines and the Recurrence of HPV-Related Disease


HPV (Human Papillamovirus) is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States affecting approximately 20 million people according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. There are over forty types of HPV affecting the genital areas of both males and females. HPV can lead to genital warts as well as many types of cancers, including cervical cancer in women. Two different HPV vaccinations are currently licensed by the FDA and recommended by the CDC: Gardasil (made by Merck) and Cervarix (made by GlaxoSmithKline).

While both of these vaccinations have proven to be effective in preventing HPV, what about the patients who have already contracted HPV? A new study authored by Dr. Elma A. Joura, an associate professor of gynecology at the Medical University of Vienna, suggests that the vaccine against Human Papillomavirus can significantly reduce the likelihood of of virus-related disease even among women who have had surgery for cervical cancer caused by HPV. This is certainly good news in light of the large number of Americans who have already contracted this common, sexually transmitted infection.

Using data from a large, randomized efficacy trial of the HPV vaccine, researchers selected 1,350 women aged 15 to 26 years old, who had undergone cervical surgery. Of this group, 587 had previously received the HPV vaccine while 763 had a placebo shot. Results showed that the women who had received the HPV vaccine were 46% less likely to suffer subsequent HPV-related disease during the next two years. The effect among women with the most serious kinds of cancers was even stronger.

For more information about HPV, refer to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention website. If you are interested in receiving the HPV vaccine, talk to a qualified physician in your local area.