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HPV vaccine reduces cervical pre-cancers in young women

Greater than expected reduction rate in all grades of invasive cervical cancer among women aged 15 to 19 years old 

Screening guidelines and practices, which are undertaken as part of the overall cervical cancer prevention programme, may need to be reviewed as the population of women participating in human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination increases, according to this study from New Mexico, US.


The New Mexico findings endorse evolving evidence for the efficacy of the partial HPV vaccination. Picture: Getty 

In this population-based registry study, reported data of women undergoing cytologic and HPV testing and histopathologic examination of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), as part of the clinical cervical screening process, was scrutinised.

HPV-immunisation programme

The researchers were examining for trends in the prevalence of CIN, when adjusting for practices that corresponded with the instigation and implementation of the HPV-immunisation programme.

The findings revealed a greater than expected, and significant, reduction in the rate of all grades of invasive cervical cancer among women aged 15 to 19 years, and for CIN grade 2 among women aged 20 to 24 years.

These findings endorse evolving evidence for the efficacy of the partial vaccination, vaccination cross-protection and influence of herd immunity.

The authors indicate that the cost effectiveness of current care practices could be lessened as a result of the increased effectiveness of the inoculation programme and this could lead to improvements and closer integration of inoculation and screening practices.

Benard V, Castle P, Jenison S et al (2016) Population-based incidence rates of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia in the human papillomavirus vaccine era. JAMA Oncology. doi: 10.1001/jamaoncol.2016.3609.

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